Teachers can play a very important role in identifying a student with vision difficulties, ideally before they start to have a significant impact on their learning. Here you will find a range of myopia resources for use in your classroom.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Myopia is a common eye condition in which light is focused in front of the retina, resulting in blurred distance vision. People with myopia can often see quite clearly at close distance but distant objects will be blurred.
Myopia usually starts during childhood, typically progressing until the child stops growing.
Myopia is a common eye health condition not just a vision condition.
As research and technological innovations in this area continue, optometrists now have a range of new management options which mean they can not only provide clear vision but slow down the progression of myopia.
There are two main risk factors for a child developing myopia: lifestyle and family history. Modern lifestyles may influence the development of myopia. These include:
- Low levels of outdoor activity6 and associated factors including:
- Low levels of light exposure7.
- Prolonged near tasks8 such as reading and gaming on portable devices.
The majority of myopia progression typically occurs between the ages of 6-17 years as this is a key growth time for children, and their eyes.
Remember the three ‘S’s’
- Sitting closer to the front of class.
- Squinting to see further away.
- Schoolwork performance is declining.
Or if you notice unexplained changes in your student’s behaviour at school.
Build in regular breaks from devices.
Limit computer sessions which include short breaks from looking at the computer (for at least five to ten minutes every hour).
Optometrists can identify children more likely to become myopic and advise parents about interventions including increased outdoor time.
A child’s first eye test should be with an optometrist before starting school and at regular intervals thereafter*.
*As recommended by Optometry Australia and the New Zealand Association of Optometrists.