Ophthalmological check-ups, key to avoiding the increase in myopia in childhood

Low levels of outdoor activity, as well as the increased use of computer screens, tablets and smartphones for leisure and education, favor the increase in myopia among children

Monday, 5 September 2022, 13:31

Low levels of outdoor activity, as well as increased use of computer screens,
tablets Y
smartphones for leisure and education favor the increase of myopia among children. For this reason, before the start of the school year, the specialists from Vithas Las Palmas and Vithas Eurocanarias Ophthalmological Institute remind us of the importance of attending annual ophthalmological check-ups to avoid the appearance of myopia during childhood.

«It is common that, when returning to the routine of classes and extracurricular activities, the little ones have poor vision. One of the signs that a child may suffer from myopia is that he does not see the blackboard or the projections on the screens well, asking the teachers to get closer », explains the doctor
Idaira Medina, specialist of the pediatric service of Vithas Las Palmas. “Children who frown, wink their eyes in front of the screens or have exhaustion and even headaches, can also be diagnosed with this pathology”, details Dr. Idaira Medina.

The specialists from Vithas Las Palmas and Vithas Eurocanarias Ophthalmological Institute recall the importance of attending annual ophthalmological check-ups to avoid an increase in myopia in childhood, especially at the beginning of the school year

«Myopia usually debuts at school age, which is why pediatricians recommend parents to take their children to ophthalmological consultations, annually or twice a year, from the age of three to detect the appearance of myopia early, especially if there is a family history of this pathology or other ophthalmological problems”, details the pediatrician.

Unit for the Control of Children's Myopia

Early detection of myopia is key to slowing down its development and, above all, avoiding consequences for visual health when it reaches adulthood. For this reason, Vithas Eurocanarias Ophthalmological Institute has a Myopia Control Unit. “One of the main goals of pediatric ophthalmologists is to stop the progression of myopia at a very young age. If not diagnosed and treated early, myopia can progress and affect the cognitive and emotional development of children, as well as their learning. In fact, it is one of the most frequent causes of school failure", explains the
Dr. Marta Jerezpediatric ophthalmology specialist at Vithas Eurocanarias.

At the same time, untreated myopia in childhood can cause visual diseases in adulthood such as retinal detachment or macular problems. For this reason, the Vithas Eurocanarias ophthalmologist insists that "parents should know that one of the causes of myopia is hereditary and the children of myopic parents are more likely to suffer from it."

Dilute atropine treatment to control progression of myopia

The different treatments aimed at controlling the progression of myopia are indicated in patients who are beginning to be myopic or those whose myopia continues to progress clearly. This occurs especially from infancy to around the age of 20, after that age, it is when myopia can continue to increase, but the progressions are usually smaller.

Visits to the ophthalmologist should be every six months or annually from the age of three, especially if there is a family history of myopia or other ophthalmological problems

Treatment with atropine diluted at 0.01% has been shown to be effective as a myopia control tool, avoiding the side effects caused by this drug when it is instilled undiluted (at 1%) and with less rebound effect when treatment is interrupted.

About Vithas

The
vithas group It is made up of 19 hospitals and 31 medical and assistance centers distributed throughout 13 provinces. The 11,300 professionals that make up Vithas have made it one of the leaders in Spanish healthcare. In addition, the group integrates the Vithas Foundation, Vithas Diagnóstica Network, the PlazaSalud24 purchasing center, and a stake in the Juaneda Assistance Network, the first hospital group in the Balearic Islands.

Vithas, belonging to the Goodgrower group, bases its corporate strategy on accredited healthcare quality, patient experience, research and innovation, and social and environmental commitment.

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