Is it Important for Children to Wear Glasses for Nearsightedness?

If the eye feels blurry when looking at distant objects but can see objects near clearly, then there is most likely an eye disorder called farsightedness (myopia). Myopia that can be treated by using glasses is not only suffered by adults, but also children. Nowadays, children who wear glasses as treatment for nearsightedness or similar eye disorders are increasingly easy to find. It is estimated that the number of children with myopia worldwide reaches 80 million children, and this has been of particular concern.

Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay
Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

Myopia or nearsightedness in children is a condition in which vision becomes blurred when looking at objects that are at great distances, but are able to see objects that are close up clearly. This happens because the picture of the object seen is not refracted right in the retina of the child’s eye, but in front of it. To be seen clearly, the shadow of the object seen must fall right on the retina. Therefore, children wear glasses with negative (minus) lenses to correct eye disorders that occur.

In the United States, the incidence of myopia is estimated at 3% in children aged 5-7 years, 8% in children aged 8-10 years, 14% in children aged 11-12 years, and 25% in adolescents aged 12-17 years.

Farsightedness is a complex disease caused by many factors (multifactorial). Genetic evidence and family decline are the highest causes of this disease. Nearsightedness that begins in childhood or adolescence is often classified as a type of nearsightedness that is non-pathological or, in other words, is not the result of an eye disorder that is simple, and physiological. This type of nearsightedness is often related to the refractive power of the eye which is out of balance with the eye’s axis length, even though the structures in the eye develop within normal limits.

Sometimes, to find symptoms of nearsightedness in children is quite difficult, because children may not complain and think the blurring that occurs is normal. Symptoms that indicate a child has nearsightedness namely:

  • Children complain of blurring when looking at objects at a distance
  • Children often move to sit in the front row of the classroom so they can see the writing on the blackboard clearly
  • The child keeps asking the teacher / friend to read the writing on the board
  • Children seem to often squint
  • Children are able to read books clearly but cannot see something far away, for example pictures on television
  • Headache
  • The decline in children’s performance at school, although rare, has never been found

The diagnosis of farsightedness is important because the child’s academic progress can be disrupted due to the inability to see far clearly. Refraction examination will be carried out by an ophthalmologist and then determine the condition of the right glasses for the child. With children wearing glasses, the problem of nearsightedness that previously occurred will be resolved so that the child no longer has problems for learning or playing.

Does your child wear glasses of the same size forever? In the type of nearsighted physiological that begins during childhood or adolescence, the progression of myopia may still occur during adolescence, however, it will begin to slow down and become stable in the early second decade (early age 20 years). Therefore, it is still possible in certain periods, children wear glasses whose size is higher than before.

Maybe many parents ask, will the child wear glasses all his life? Can eye minus be reduced with medication? Unfortunately, no drugs have been found that can reduce nearsightedness. Surgery / refractive surgery or surgery performed to improve the eye’s refraction system is the only proven effective way to reduce dependence on glasses and reduce farsightedness. However, it is strongly recommended that this operation be performed when the child is an adult, because refractive surgery should not be performed on patients with nearsightedness that are still unstable or can be said to still continue to grow. Therefore, the only way out is to give glasses to children so that children can see distant objects clearly.