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Nearsightedness (Myopia) in Children: Care Instructions

Eyes with normal sight and nearsightedness


A child who is nearsighted can see things that are up close. But your child has trouble seeing things in the distance. Faraway objects look blurry and out of focus. It may be hard for your child to see images or words on a street sign, movie screen, or TV.

Children who are nearsighted may squint or frown or hold books or other objects very close to the face. They may sit at the front of the classroom or very close to the TV or movie screen. They may not be interested in sports or other things that need good distance vision.

This vision problem is often caused by a natural change in the shape of the eyeball. The eyeball is oval (egg-shaped) rather than round. This causes light rays that enter the eye to focus in front of the retina rather than directly on it.

Eyeglasses or contact lenses can help correct nearsightedness.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

Reduce eye strain

  • Make sure that your child wears eyeglasses or contact lenses as prescribed.
  • Use good light for reading or study. Use a soft background light plus a light on your child's task.
  • Have your child take frequent breaks when he or she does close work that can be hard on the eyes. Tell your child to blink often and to close and rest his or her eyes when they feel tired or dry.
  • Avoid glare on TV and computer screens. Place the TV or computer screen where lights do not reflect on the screen. Some children find it easier to work on a computer in a dimly lit room. Special non-glare screens that fit over the computer screen also may help.

Keep your child's eyes healthy

  • Make sure your child gets eye exams as often as your doctor recommends.
  • Have your child wear sunglasses to block harmful sunlight. Buy sunglasses that screen out ultraviolet A and B (UVA and UVB) rays.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • Your child has vision changes.

Where can you learn more?

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.