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Is Online Learning Impacting Your Child’s Vision?

Students all over the world are spending more time in front of screens due to the COVID-19 lockdowns. Online learning has helped children keep up with their curriculum while staying safe during the pandemic.

But research has found that near-work, including being on a computer or digital device, comes at a price. Eye doctors everywhere are reporting an increase in the number of children who come in for glasses, either to strengthen their prescription or to get eyeglasses for the first time.

So, if your child has been learning in a virtual setting and you notice that they’ve been squinting more or complaining that their vision isn’t clear — know you are not alone.

At EYEcenter Optometric, we help children just like yours in all matters of ocular and visual health. Call today to schedule your child’s myopia consultation.

Why Does Myopia Matter?

Myopia, or nearsightedness, occurs when the eye grows too long and focuses the light in front of the retina instead of on the retina itself. This causes distant objects to appear blurry.

Myopia is more than just a matter of clear vision — it can significantly increase your child’s risk of developing sight-threatening eye diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, and retinal detachment — in the future. In fact, children who have rapidly progressing or high levels of myopia are even more at risk.

That’s why it’s important to stop or slow the progression of myopia in children as early as possible.

How Can Online Learning Affect Myopia?

The exact cause of myopia isn’t yet known, but we do know that excessive near work contributes to the onset and progression of myopia. Online learning using a tablet, smartphone, or computer is considered near work since these devices are usually held or placed close to the face.

When researchers studied the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on about 120,000 Chinese children, they discovered that children aged 6-8 experienced significant visual changes. Their myopia had worsened rapidly over the course of a few months while in lockdown. This was attributed to the increase in near activities like online learning, but also to a lack of outdoor activities.

Previous studies have found that children who spend significant time outdoors playing in the sunshine experience less myopia progression than children who are homebodies.

Is Myopia Treatable?

Here’s the good news: your child’s myopia can be treated! We can halt or slow your child’s myopia progression and minimize their risk of future eye disease.

Advanced EyeCare offers the latest and most effective myopia management treatments that can help preserve your child’s vision for the long term.

To schedule your child’s myopia consultation, call one of our five conveniently located Sacramento area locations today!

For more information on myopic progression in children and to download our free guide to myopia control, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Herring

Q: Can you request lenses made from glass? Is glass still used for lenses?

  • A: Yes. Opticians still sometimes use glass for lenses. However, glass is not used very often because they aren’t as safe. If these glass lenses breaks, they can shatters into many pieces and can injure the eye. Glass lenses are much heavier than plastic lenses, so they can make your eyeglasses less comfortable to wear.

Q: Can a coating be added to eyeglasses to protect them from further scratches?

  • A: A protective coating can’t be added to a lens after it’s scratched. The coating is applied when the lens is manufactured and can’t be put on later.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In Sacramento, California. Visit EYEcenter optometric for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

Protect Your Children’s Vision By Getting Them To Play Outside This Winter!

child playing snow 640As temperatures drop, some parents may be wondering how to get their kids outside for some healthy outdoor play.

Below, we share tips on fun outdoor activities you can do and explain why playing outside can help your child’s vision.

How Outdoor Play Impacts Myopia

Studies have shown that children who spend at least 11 hours per week outside during daylight hours have a slower rate of myopia progression than children who don’t. Although researchers aren’t exactly sure why, it appears that sunlight and the child’s use of distance vision outdoors may play a role.

So why would parents want to slow down their child’s myopia? The answer may surprise you.

Having myopia in childhood places the child at heightened risk for developing sight-threatening eye diseases later in life. These include cataracts, macular degeneration, retinal detachment, and glaucoma.

3 Outdoor Activities to Do With Your Kids This Winter

Play With Snow

Whether you have a toddler or a teenager, playing with snow is something that everyone can enjoy. Bundle up your child so they stay safe and warm, and send them out to build a snowman, have a snowball fight, build an igloo, or make a snow angel. Older children and teens may enjoy building a snow maze.

If your kids like a bit of competition, you can conduct a snow castle building contest. This activity can be fun for the entire family!

If you don’t have enough snow to build a snowman or castle, you can play tic-tac-snow on the snow-covered ground.

Go Sledding

Sledding and tobogganing are classic winter activities that your child will love. All you need is a sled and a snowy hill — easy, right?

But before you soar down those snowy slopes, here are some guidelines that will ensure a safer sledding experience:

  • Use a sled that can be steered and has a brake
  • Protect your head with a helmet
  • Dress warmly, but leave your scarf at home, as it can get caught under the sled
  • Children under the age of 6 should always sled accompanied by an adult

Create Outdoor Art

This activity is perfect for kids who like to get a little messy. To make a colorful masterpiece on a canvas of snow, give your child a few squirt bottles filled with water and a few drops of food coloring gel. They’ll have heaps of fun squirting the colored liquid on snow or ice.

They can also paint on snow using watercolors and a paintbrush.

If it doesn’t snow where you live, you can always give your child some sidewalk chalk and let them get creative on the pavement. The important thing is to have your child play outdoors.

At Myopia Control Center at EYEcenter Optometric, our goal is to help slow down your child’s myopia progression and keep their eyes healthy for a lifetime.

To learn more about our myopia management program or to schedule your child’s eye exam, call us today!

Myopia Control Center at EYEcenter Optometric serves patients from Sacramento, Folsom, Roseville, Elk Grove, and throughout California .

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