Commentary: Myopia is an unavoidable reality for most kids. Here’s how to manage it

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SINGAPORE: There’s a silent epidemic in Singapore that affects up to eight out of 10 children by the time they are in Primary 6. It could have lifelong consequences, but parents are generally unaware of how to reduce its impact.

This epidemic is no stranger to any of us – it’s known as myopia.

Myopia is so prevalent in Singapore today that it’s hard to find a child who is not myopic. Our children now spend so much time on computers and mobile devices for leisure and schooling that myopia is an unavoidable reality for most of them.

But should we accept it passively by letting our children’s myopia progress over the years? Is there nothing that can be done about myopia beyond correcting our children’s near-sightedness with spectacles?  

MYOPIA SHOULD BE MANAGED, NOT JUST CORRECTED

You might be wondering why there’s a need to be concerned about your child’s myopia when there are tried and tested ways to correct their vision.

As an optometrist, I have observed that when a child is diagnosed with myopia, the default response from parents is to fit the child with spectacles and hope that when they’re adults, they can undergo Lasik to permanently correct their vision.

While spectacles and Lasik are effective in helping a myopic sufferer see clearly, we need to differentiate between myopia management and myopia correction.  

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