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Nearsightedness (Myopia)

Some children have a progressive form of nearsightedness, or myopia, that gets worse throughout childhood. Children who are nearsighted usually have no difficulty seeing up close; however, their vision is blurred in the distance. Very often, children with nearsightedness don't complain of their difficulties. Children with nearsightedness may require glasses or contacts to help them see in the distance.

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Parents frequently are concerned about the amount of time a child should wear the glasses. At a bare minimum, a child who has nearsightedness should use the glasses to help see the blackboard in school. If the child prefers to sit at home and watch television or go to movies and not see quite as well as he might with his glasses, this is not cause for concern as it will in no way injure the eyes. As the nearsightedness increases, children recognize how well they see with their glasses and will frequently place their glasses on first thing in the morning and wear them throughout the day. This will in no way injure the eyes, but will rather provide them with good, clear vision throughout the day.

Contact lenses can be worn by most children. We usually prefer to wait until the children are a minimum of 9 years old so that the child is mature enough to properly care for the lenses and motivated enough to wear them. One major concern relating to contact lenses that parents often have is the cost of replacing contact lenses if the child needs a stronger prescription. Fortunately, the fee for replacing contact lenses runs about the same as the cost of a new pair of glasses. The original fee for contacts is understandably higher to cover the cost for the initial fitting and initial follow up visits. Although some people may tell you that nearsightedness can be prevented or delayed by wearing contact lenses, there is unfortunately no scientific evidence to support this, although on occasion, we do see children whose nearsightedness seems to “slowdown” after being fit with contact lenses.

The use of glasses in sports activities should be encouraged as this will provide your child with normal vision during the activity. Since nearsighted children have difficulty seeing objects off in the distance, the use of glasses or contacts in sports played at a distance with small object such as baseball or tennis, may very well improve their performance. The one sport where the use of glasses is not quite as critical would be an activity such as soccer where the ball is large and, in addition, the children frequently use their head to make contact with the ball.

Glasses can be purchased in our optical shop. Our opticians specialize in children’s glasses and will help guide you to the proper spectacles for your child. Contact lenses are fitted in our office. If you have any questions in this regard, further information is available.

There is almost never any difficulty getting children, even young children, to wear glasses, if a positive attitude is taken by the people around the child. Should you have any questions or concerns, please let us know..

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The available services at Thomas Eye Group range from comprehensive eye exams to specialty services in LASIK, retinal and corneal disorders, glaucoma, and plastic surgery. To correct vision problems, our doctors are trained in the most current refractive surgery techniques. We also offer contact lenses and glasses to those who prefer a traditional solution.

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At Thomas Eye Group Atlanta, our board-certified ophthalmologists and optometrists have decades of combined experience in eye care. We work together as a team to bring you specialized, state-of-the-art care from caring professionals.

Our team of doctors is comprised of ophthalmologists, optometrists, and skilled support staff. Within our group of ophthalmologists, we have several sub-specialists, including LASIK, glaucoma, retina, and plastic surgery or Oculoplastics. At six locations throughout the greater Atlanta area, our group provides services ranging from comprehensive eye examinations and contact lens care to sophisticated microsurgery for cataracts, cornea and retinal disease, and refractive surgery, including LASIK.

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