Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Myopia (Nearsightedness)

Nearsightedness is when light entering the eye is focused incorrectly, making distant objects appear blurred. Nearsightedness is a type of refractive error of the eye.

Symptoms – sees close up objects clearly, but objects in the distance are blurred. Squinting will tend to make far away objects seem clearer. Other symptoms may include, eyestrain or headaches. Nearsightedness is often first noticed in school-aged children. Children often cannot read the blackboard but they can easily read a book. Nearsightedness gets worse during the growth years. People who are nearsighted need to change glasses often. It usually stops progressing as a person stops growing in his or her early twenties.

There is no prevention for nearsightedness. Contradicting to common beliefs, reading and watching television do not cause nearsightedness. It is more due to long work of ‘near work’ without resting the eye. Examples of ‘near work’ are reading, writing, using computer, sewing, drawing or playing hand-held computer games..

Another probable cause of nearsightedness could be generic. If one or both parents are myopic, the child has a greater chance of being myopic too. For me, my eyes were spoilt during birth. Back then when babies have jaundice, we were placed under the light for hours without eye protection. I was under the light for more than a week, no eye patch at all. That was how my eyes were affected.

Joey has recently complained about having trouble seeing the lessons in school. She has to look at her classmates’ work instead. This has promoted us to bring her to the Health Promotion Board for a checkup. In fact all 5-6 years old child in Singapore will be checked by HPB in their respective Childcare or Kindergarten. Joey’s Kindergarten has not been scheduled yet so we have to go earlier.

Results are non-conclusive. She has to take an eye drop for a better check but Joey just recovered from fever yesterday, so the doctor suggested to administer the eye drop one week later. But sad to say, the preliminary results are not good. She will most likely need to wear specs soon.

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