Short-sightedness in children

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specsavers short sightedness female focus october17Mike Stone, Store Director, Specsavers Opticas Calpe

As kids go back to school, we wanted to look at short-sightedness in children and answer your questions.

What is myopia/short sight and how can it be corrected?
A person with myopia or short sight can see objects close to them clearly, but not far away. Myopia is caused by the shape of the eye; either the eyeball is slightly too long or the cornea (the clear covering of the front of the eye) is too steeply curved. Myopia is corrected by spectacles or contact lenses with lenses which are ‘minus’ or concave in shape. So, if you’re short sighted, your prescription will have a minus lens power, e.g. -2.50D.

Are there any signs I can look for to suggest my child is short-sighted?
There are a few signs which could indicate a vision problem in children including: sitting too close to the TV, rubbing their eyes repeatedly, complaining of headaches, being clumsy or squinting. Once they are back to school, they can have trouble seeing the board.

How is short-sightedness treated in children?
Normally, short-sightedness is treated with glasses, and there are great kids’ ranges and styles so your child will love to wear them. It can also be treated with contact lenses, which are safe for children, but we advise that you wait until they are old enough and responsible enough to take care of them.

Why is it important to have an eye test before they go back to school?
During the first 12 years of our lives, as much as 80% of learning is accomplished through our vision. Yet, one out of every four children has an undetected vision problem that may inhibit their progress. Once children go to school, good eyesight is crucial to keep up with their studies. Experts believe that many learning disabilities could be vision related as they may not be able to read the board or text books.

Specsavers Opticas are raising money for the ONCE Foundation for the Deaf and Blind until the end of the year and are asking for a donation of just 1€ for a comprehensive eye test. Visit www.specsavers.es to find your nearest store and book your eye test.