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For Teachers

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.

MYOPIA REPORT

The Australia and New Zealand Child Myopia Report

The Australia and New Zealand Child Myopia Report – A Focus on Future Management brings together the latest evidence-based data to better understand the issue.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is myopia and how can it be corrected?

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.

How does myopia develop?

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.

See here for more information.

When does myopia stabilise?

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.

What are the early warning signs of myopia?

Remember the three ‘S’s’

  1. Sitting closer to the front of class.
  2. Squinting to see further away.
  3. Schoolwork performance is declining.

Or if you notice unexplained changes in your student’s behaviour at school.

How often should children have a break from a device?

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).

Why and when should children get their eyes examined?

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.