After a year of school closures, virtual learning and social distancing… it’s no surprise that there’s been an increase in screen time. (How else could we bake cookies with grandma, practice reading skills or travel to an aquarium halfway around the world?) While there are many benefits of tapping into digital devices to keep us connected, not all screen time is created equal. And too much over extended periods of time can play a negative role in kids’ eye health.
The rate of childhood myopia is on the rise, with 1 in 3 children now affected in the U.S. This eye disease, where the eyeball grows too long, is becoming more common in children, showing up at earlier ages and progressing more rapidly. Many factors, including genetics, can contribute to myopia. Researchers believe that reduced outdoor time coupled with an increase in screen time on devices may be part of the problem. According to JAMA Ophthalmology, new data from China found that home confinement during COVID-19 has created a significant increase in myopia among children aged 6-8 years, with the prevalence of myopia increasing 1.4 to 3 times in 2020 compared with the previous five years.
Myopia causes blurry distance vision, making it hard to see images and objects in the distance—from a clock on the wall to the TV across the room. Among other signs, you may notice your child holding a book close to his face, squinting more frequently or complaining of headaches. While glasses and contacts can help a child see clearly, they don’t treat the underlying issue or prevent vision from continuing to worsen. Left untreated, children with myopia may be at a significantly higher risk for retinal detachment, cataracts, glaucoma and other serious eye-health complications as they grow. But don’t panic if you’ve resorted to screen time more than usual during the pandemic. There’s good news: early intervention is key and it makes a difference!
With the school year winding down and summer on the horizon, now is the perfect time to proactively get your child’s eyes checked at Treehouse Eyes. The first eye care provider dedicated exclusively to treating myopic children, the Treehouse Vision System treatment plan is non-invasive, includes overnight customized lenses, day-time soft lenses and special prescription eye drops—proven to slow or stop the progression of myopia in children.
The leading provider of myopia management treatments for children in the U.S., Treehouse Eyes doctors use the latest technology to assess your child’s unique needs and develop a customized treatment plan. Children treated by Treehouse Eyes doctors using the Treehouse Eyes patent-pending protocol, the Treehouse Vision System, show on average a 78% decrease in the progression of their myopia. And there are even more benefits to your kiddo’s wellbeing… once they start treatment, children have reported better focus at school, increased performance in activities and more self-confidence. Now that’s the kind of trifecta parents like to see (pun intended!).
Learn how Treehouse Eyes can help your child preserve their best vision now, and reduce their risks for myopia-related eye diseases in the future.