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What Are the Most Common Causes of Myopia in Children?

Jun 1, 2024

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a common vision problem among children that can have a significant impact on their daily lives. With myopia, distant objects appear blurry while close objects can be seen clearly. In this blog post, we’ll explore the most common causes of myopia in children and discuss some solutions we offer for managing its progression. 


If one or both parents have myopia, there is a higher likelihood that their child will develop it as well. Genetics play a significant role in shaping the structure of the eye, including its length and curvature. Children with longer-than-average eyeballs are more prone to developing myopia because light focuses in front of the retina instead of directly on it, causing blurred vision when looking at distant objects. While you can’t change your child’s genetic makeup, being aware of this risk factor can help you take proactive steps to monitor their eye health and seek early treatment if needed. 

Excessive screen time 

Too much screen time can also contribute to the development or the progression of myopia. Kids today are spending more time than ever staring at screens, whether it’s smartphones, tablets, computers, or TVs. Prolonged exposure to these devices can strain the eyes and increase their risk of myopia. It’s essential for parents to monitor their child’s screen time and encourage breaks to rest their eyes throughout the day. 

Lack of outdoor play 

Outdoor activities are crucial for maintaining good eye health and preventing myopia in children. Studies have shown that spending time outdoors can help reduce the risk of developing nearsightedness. The exact reason behind this is still being researched, but some experts believe that exposure to outdoor light may help regulate eye growth and prevent elongation of the eyeball, a common factor in myopia development. 

Poor reading habits 

Poor reading habits can also contribute to myopia in children. Reading in dim light or holding books too close to the face can strain the eyes and worsen nearsightedness over time. Encouraging proper reading habits such as using adequate lighting and holding reading materials at a comfortable distance can help relieve eye strain and prevent further myopia progression. 

Early signs of myopia 

Recognizing the early signs of myopia in children is crucial for timely intervention. Some common symptoms to watch for include: 

  • Squinting to see distant objects 
  • Frequent headaches 
  • Eye strain or discomfort 
  • Difficulty seeing the board at school 
  • Sitting too close to the TV or holding books very close to the face 

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to schedule an eye exam for your child. 

If your child has already been diagnosed with myopia, don’t worry! Mad River Eye Care offers innovative solutions such as ortho-k and multifocal lenses for myopia management in Waitsfield. High myopia can increase your child’s risk of serious eye health issues later in life, which is why myopia management is crucial for reducing or even stopping its progression. Schedule an appointment with us today to learn how we can help your child see clearly and avoid eye health issues in the future!  

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