Guide:My Child Has Myopia
- 1 Welcome
- 2 All kids are born Hyperopic
- 3 It starts as Pseudomyopia
- 4 It's more than just Pseudomyopia
- 5 The first three habits
- 6 Follow the Guide
- 7 What about this treatment my doctor recommended?
- 8 See Also
Your kid is very lucky to have you, a parent that goes above and beyond what the doctor says and does their own research. Many parents are concerned that they only see adults on the forums, and wonder if EndMyopia works for kids. The great news is that most of the science that EndMyopia is based on was done on young and growing animals and children, the work on adults is actually more experimental. If your kid is still growing, they have a better chance of rapid improvement than adults, especially if they've just gotten their first glasses prescription.
All kids are born Hyperopia
When your child first opened his/her eyes, they were farsighted. As they grow, the eye lengthens, and they become closer and closer to perfect vision. This growth reacts to stimulus it is given, and tunes your child's eyesight for the task distance they do most. If they spend time with screens, books, and table-top crafts, their eyesight will become tuned for those things, very functional at close range, but not very good at distance vision. If they spend more time outdoors, looking at scenery, or doing sports, their eyesight will become tuned for those things, more functional at distance, and needing ciliary muscles to do a little work for close tasks.
It starts as Pseudomyopia
See full article: Pseudomyopia
If your child does some near and some far work, they might still have some issues with distance vision beyond what their eye length alone would cause. Pseudomyopia is when the ciliary muscle gets cramped while doing near work, and can not fully relax for distance vision. Pseudomyopia may be all that is going on with your child's first troubles with distance vision, and is much more easily fixed than true myopia. (But the steps you need to take are the same.)
It's more than just Pseudomyopia
Maybe you went ahead and got the glasses a few years ago when the doctor said to, maybe your child has progressed beyond pseudomyopia and you're concerned about continued progression. Don't worry, it's not too late. Start with the same habits, the same program, and your child has a very good chance of literally growing out of it, as long as they continue to grow they can see more rapid results from good habits than an adult.
The first three habits
- Only wear glasses when they are needed. If your child is not in school, and they can participate in all their activities without glasses, just put the glasses away. Talk to the teacher about putting your child up in the front row and testing his/her eyesight on the types of materials the teacher puts on the board, and see if they can do without glasses at school. If they do need glasses for school, emphasize that they are only for use with the board. If your child is too young to manage their glasses, and the teacher can't/won't help them manage them, bifocals with a reading lens or no-power lens in the bottom may be an option.
- Get outside. Get your kid involved in any hobby you can think of that involves distance vision. If you have a safe yard or a good neighborhood porch grannie you might just do the old fashioned thing and kick them out of the house until dinner, although the modern parent may feel comfortable with signing up for sports activities.
- Minimize near work. School work has to be done, but they can take breaks to minimize strain. Leisure activities should though either involve moving focus or focus at at least six feet (two meters). If you can, eliminate handheld devices from their routine.
Follow the Guide
All the same steps for adults apply to children, although you may have to be creative about motivating kids. You know your child best and how to redirect them. Read the guide for adults and kids: Guide:Start your improvement here.
Kids might not want to "active focus" but they may enjoy some distance vision activities and games. Active Focus can be a natural consequence of participating in distance activities and wanting to see a little further, it doesn't have to be a drill done on street signs.
Distance Vision Activity Suggestions for Children
- Outdoor sports
- Cloud gazing
- Model rockets
- Paper airplane flying
- Bird Watching (place bird feeder at least 20 feet from the window if doing this from inside. Outdoors is better.)
- Picnics (This doesn't have to be fancy, lunch on the balcony gives plenty of opportunity to look around at distant objects while eating.)
- Line dancing
- "I Spy"
- Painting Scenery and distant objects
- Podcasts in the hammock/on the balcony (Use a limited function device so this doesn't become screen time.)
Measuring edge of blur
Pre-lingual or developmentally delayed children may have trouble telling you what they see. The optometrist is going to have similar issues doing a standard manifest refraction. The optometrist can do an auto-refraction test or retinoscopy, but results may still be over-prescribed if your child can not follow instructions to focus on the target. These measurements from the optometrist can though serve as a starting place for your child. Start by calculating differentials from this measurement, and get glasses for your child. Give the glasses to your child for some near work activity they enjoy and observe their posture and behavior. Are they pulling the book close? Are they participating in the activity longer or shorter than usual? You can then try small changes up or down, and see if your child seems more comfortable holding their books or coloring at a healthy distance. Once they have comfortable differentials, you can back-calculate their normalized.
What about this treatment my doctor recommended?
Only you know your risk/reward tolerance. The conventional treatments do show promise of slowing myopia progression, but not stopping it, and not reversing it. EndMyopia does not yet have long term studies to gauge effectiveness, but it has worked for many people, and the science definitely backs up that minus lenses on growing youth causes more myopia, which all the conventional treatments will include. Read up on the known side effects of the proposed treatment and make your decision. (Please do read multiple sources and not just these short summaries.)
- Atropine - a chemical that paralyzes both the ciliary and pupil. Although it does partially relax the ciliary, your child may have trouble with seeing near work and with bright outdoor lighting.
- Multifocal contacts - Gives some of the benefits of bifocals, but can be difficult for a child to manage safely, and comes with a risk of eye infection and corneal thinning.
- Ortho K - reshapes the cornea at night for temporary good distance vision during the day. Waning eyesight over the course of the day makes this less harmful than all day full correction, but they're still wearing full correction in the morning. Has all the same risks as multifocal contacts.
- Bifocals - This is one of the more promising treatments for children too young to manage taking glasses on and off, but may cause physical and social awkwardness as they can not see clearly out of the whole lens, which affects their ability to use peripheral vision and requires them to look around more to see less than even a child in regular glasses.
- Separate reading glasses, or directives to only wear glasses for distance work - Hey, sounds like you have a promising doc, we'd love to hear more about him.
Jake Rants about Atropine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cylh7gwXOUY