As parents, seeing our kids struggle with myopia or nearsightedness is, in itself, a painful sight.
Myopia holds our children back from fully enjoying outdoor physical activities or from realizing their full potential as students. It can trigger a loss of self-confidence and can discourage them from participating in new activities for social and academic purposes.
Of course, our role is to support and guide children as they cope with these realities, and at the same time, do the best we can to address this silent epidemic which threatens the vision of millions of kids around the world.
It is important to fully understand what myopia is, how it progresses and what the consequences are if it is not properly addressed. You’ll need to be able to explain this to teachers, friends and other concerned individuals so they can accommodate your kid’s special needs.
Talk to their teachers.
Explain your kid’s eyesight issues and make sure that there are accommodations in place so that myopia doesn’t get in the way of learning and comprehension. At the same time, talk to your eye doctor about your kid’s school set-up and ask for recommendations. The idea here is to ensure that the current set-up should not aggravate the condition. Check in with their teachers every now and then to assess the support being provided.
Build your support group.
Get in touch with other parents in similar situations. Learn from each other’s experiences. Exchange notes and words of support. The official Invisalens Facebook page is a good place to start.
Continue to enforce good eye care habits.
The last thing you need is for your kid’s myopia to worsen. So don’t let up on those good eye care practices and make sure to regularly check in with your eye doctor.
Take care of yourself.
This may seem like an odd piece of advice but it’s a really important one that many parents, who are too busy worrying about their children, tend to forget. You need to be strong, physically and emotionally, to be able to support your kid, and then of course, balance it with your other responsibilities at home, at work or in the community. Don’t scrimp on ‘me time.’ Trite as it may seem, health really is wealth.
Many parents have found that orthokeratology aka Vision Improvement Therapy (VIT) is a good option for managing myopia in children. It’s safe, proven effective, less invasive and relatively painless compared to laser surgery. Studies have also shown that it can arrest the progression of myopia, thus providing a long-term solution to nearsightedness. Ask your doctor and other parents about it.