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This week marks the launch of a global campaign urging parents not to be short-sighted when it comes to protecting their children’s vision.

Myopia – short-sightedness – is one of the leading causes of avoidable vision loss.

With the number of teenagers affected by the condition on the rise, this year’s Myopia Awareness Week (May 24th – 28th) focuses on the easy steps parents can take to help protect their children’s sight.

Nationally, one in five teenagers are short-sighted – double the number affected 50 years ago. Experts have warned this figure is likely to grow significantly in the next 30 years.

Myopia can increase the risk of several eye conditions such as retinal detachment or myopic maculopathy that could eventually result in visual impairment or even blindness.

While genetics play an important part – if one of your parents has myopia, you are three times more likely to develop it – there are environmental factors which can play a significant role in whether a child develops myopia or not.

The Brien Holden Vision Institute and the World Council of Optometry offer the following tips:

Get children playing outdoors
An increase in time outdoors of about 2 hours per day, which helps children use their full range of vision, significantly reduces the risk of developing myopia.

Reduce screen time
Lots of near vision work without a break (video games/phones) plays a substantial role in increasing the risk of developing myopia. Encourage your child to take regular breaks – for every 20 minutes spent on near tasks, take a break for 20 seconds gazing into the distance (20 feet or 6 metres away).

Get tested
Early diagnosis and intervention is the key to slowing the progression of myopia. Get your children examined by an eye care professional.

The latest lens technology can also have an impact on the progression of myopia. Here at TK&S, we offer revolutionary contact lenses proven to halt the progression of short-sightedness as part of a ground-breaking programme which has seen our practice become a national centre of excellence for myopia management.

We offer both the CooperVision MiSight contact lens and the NaturalVue contact lens, which we use alongside a suite of other state-of-the-art methods such as ortho-keratology to manage myopia in both children and adults.

If you have any concerns about your eyesight or your children’s, please call us on 01604 714413 to make an appointment.

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