Study Forecasts Future Myopia in Children

One test before first grade predicts myopia by eighth grade.

 

Results from a 20 year study by researchers for  the Collaborative Longitudinal Evaluation of Ethnicity and Refractive Error (CLEERE) suggest that myopia (nearsightedness) can be predicted for children as early as age six just with a simple eye exam.  The researchers initially set out to see “what measures could we have done in first grade to predict who was going to need glasses by the eighth grade?” said lead author Karla Zadnik, OD, PhD, professor and dean of the College of Optometry at The Ohio State University.  They found that children who have no or very little hyperopia (farsightedness) were more likely to be myopic when they were older.  The study also contradicts the notion that near work—such as frequent reading, playing electronic devices or sitting too close to the TV—can bring on myopia.

“At an eye examination as early as first grade, an optometrist can provide parents with an idea of how likely their child is to develop myopia by eighth grade,” Dr. Zadnik says. “This might be of particular interest to parents who are themselves myopic and worried about their child in that regard, and the information could be used to guide the eye exam schedule for a given child.”  This emphasizes the importance of early and regular eye examinations in children.  For the complete article click here.