What Are the Symptoms of Myopia in Children?

Myopia is a common vision condition where objects close by appear clear, but objects farther away may seem blurred. Children suffering from this condition often struggle in school and their daily activities because of their compromised vision. Understanding myopia, its causes, symptoms, and treatment options for children, can help parents take early action to manage this condition effectively.


What Are the Causes of Myopia in Children?

There are several factors believed to contribute to the development of myopia in children. While the exact cause of myopia is unknown, it is generally associated with a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Genetically, if one or both parents are myopic, there is a higher chance that their child will also develop myopia. It seems that children inherit the tendency to develop myopia from their parents.

The modern lifestyle, where children spend more time indoors focused on screens and less time outdoors, has been linked to the increasing prevalence of myopia. Some researchers suggest that insufficient exposure to natural light might influence the growth and development of the eye, thereby increasing the risk of myopia.


Identifying the Symptoms of Myopia in Children

Identifying the symptoms of myopia in children can be difficult, as they may not realize that their vision is not normal. Children often adapt to their visual impairment, assuming that everyone sees the world the same way they do. This makes it crucial for parents and caregivers to watch for signs of visual problems.

The most common symptom of myopia in children is difficulty seeing distant objects clearly. The child may squint when trying to focus on distant objects, such as the blackboard in the classroom or the television. The effort to focus on hazy objects can result in headaches or eye strain, which they may also report.

Other symptoms include excessive blinking, rubbing of the eyes, and a tendency to sit closer to the television or hold books very close while reading.


The Importance of Pediatric Eye Exams in Detecting Myopia

The role of pediatric eye exams in detecting myopia cannot be overstated. Regular eye exams are essential because children's eyes change rapidly as they grow. These changes can lead to the development of myopia or other vision problems. Early detection through comprehensive eye exams can help manage the condition effectively and prevent it from worsening.

During a pediatric eye exam, the optometrist will evaluate the child's visual acuity, refractive error, and eye health using various tests. They can detect the presence of myopia even before the child starts showing symptoms. This early detection allows for timely intervention, reducing the risk of complications such as lazy eye, retinal detachment, and glaucoma, which can occur if myopia is left untreated.

It's recommended that children have their first eye exam at six months of age, then at three years, and before they start school. Thereafter, routine eye exams should be done every two years if no vision correction is required, or annually if the child wears glasses or contact lenses.


Treatment Options for Children with Myopia

Once a diagnosis of myopia is made, it's essential to discuss the various treatment options for children with your eye care provider. The primary goal of myopia management is to slow down or halt the progression of myopia, thereby reducing the risk of severe myopia-related eye problems in the future.

Eyeglasses or contact lenses are the most common methods of correcting myopia. They help refocus light on the retina, providing clearer vision. However, they do not cure myopia or slow its progression.

Several other treatments aim to control myopia's progression, including orthokeratology (Ortho-K), atropine eye drops, and multifocal contact lenses or eyeglasses.



Understanding myopia in children, its causes, symptoms, and treatment options can make a significant difference in managing this condition. Early detection through regular pediatric eye exams is key to preventing the progression of myopia and avoiding potential complications. With proper care and management, children with myopia can lead a normal life without any significant impact on their quality of life.

If your child shows any signs of myopia, schedule a pediatric eye exam at Heights Vision Specialists in our Houston, Texas, office. Call (832) 360-2020 to make an appointment today.