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How to treat nearsightedness in children?

Q: My daughter is 5 yrs & 6 months old and has a problem in reading the black board in school even from the first bench. We checked with an ophthalmologist and he has suggested glasses for her. But the numbers are quite high -5 and -7. Moreover, he had suggested that even after wearing the glasses she will find it difficult to read and it will take quite some time to get accstomed with that. What could have been the probable cause for this? Is there any remedy to correct this and improve the vision? Also please suggest the precautions to be taken. Is there any future problem because of this? Please advise.

A:Your daughter has nearsightedness and needs the appropriate corrective glasses for seeing well. At this age if vision is not corrected appropriately, children can develop amblyopia i.e. lazy eye where vision in the lazy eye does not develop to its full potential. This problem can be treated but only if treatment is done before 8 years of age. Since your daughter is below 8 years of age, you still have a window where treatment of amblyopia is possible (should she have it). Therefore these are the recommendations: 1. Get a good cycloplegic refraction to determine what is the correct power of glasses that she needs to wear. 2. If vision in the two eyes with glasses is not equal i.e. suppose the -7 eye sees less than -5 eye even with glasses then amblyopia treatment is indicated. This is done by patching, full time, the better seeing eye. You will have to see a pediatric ophthalmologist for this treatment. It is very important that you rule out the possibility of amblyopia because after age 8, there is no help. There are no specific precautions that are to be taken. Your daughter is near-sighted and has a high number. Thats all. Her eyes are actually fine if glasses is all that she needs to see well.


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