Here for my 7 year old child (-1.25 diopters)

Hi All,

Thank you for having me on the forum! My 7 year old boy recently got diagnosed with -1.25 on both eyes. I have been looking for non-invasive and natural ways to get his prescription to 0. When I was 16 years old I started seeing double vision due to excessive reading. My mom asked me to do eye exercises and take breaks to look far away. The double vision auto-resolved and I never had to wear glasses. So I have seen first-hand that with a low prescription it is possible to reverse myopia.

The optometrist that checked my kid’s eyes also sells glasses. She recommended Atropine with glasses or Ortho-K. I have found another OD who doesn’t sell glasses and offers vision therapy. I am getting my child re-examined again this week and will check what his diagnosis is and what options he would have to offer.

I have read articles and seen some videos however would be very helpful if I could be directed to a concise summary of what I need to do for my child. Should I buy the guide? Should I take the course? If some parents who have done similar research could please point me in the right direction it would be very helpful!

When I ask him to look at distant objects he tells me he sees double vision and sometimes blurry. He is also seeing some floaters (transparent and gray) however the optometrist didn’t find anything concerning in this area.

Some questions I have and things I will be doing -

  1. Home self-measurement frequently using the centimeter reading
  2. Could someone point me to a link on how to measure using the snellen chart?
  3. I believe the myopia is a result of too much screen time since his schooling was on computer as well. I have completely stopped ipad and phone screens, however even this year he would be doing his school online via computer. It would be great if someone could suggest what is a good viewing distance from the computer screen and any other dos-and-donts. I will make sure there is enough natural light near the desk. How often should he take breaks from the screen and for how long?
  4. What eye exercises are effective in addition to active focus? How frequently should active focus be done?
  5. Should he wear + diopter lens for computer study? Although the method seems to make sense, I read some book reviews where people said it could result in floaters, cataracts etc. So if anyone has any feedback on this would be good to know.
  6. Started eye vitamins, making sure he is hydrated and following good sleep schedule. Limiting TV time to 15 mins morning and 15 mins evening. Added carrot juice to his routine.
  7. I also put some cold water pads on his eyes before he sleeps to relax his eye muscles. Are there any other techniques to relax eye muscles?
  8. Any information on floaters? How to avoid, reduce floaters?

Sorry for the very long post and lot of questions. It would be great to get some replies and information.

Thank you,
Asmita

Hello and welcome to the community. I understand you have concerns for your child but this method is something that needs to be searched out and learned. There are many resources designed to help you do so, the information is all there for you. This article might might help: Child Myopia - EndMyopia Wiki Also channels like mine may prove useful: Reannon - YouTube Also we only deal with myopia so while it come up frequently we can’t help concerning floaters. Best wishes.

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Hello, EM assumes that parents who want to help their kids have glasses, too, and recommends that parents improve their eyesight before helping their kids with it. I understand your case is not such so there is the risk of you wanting to support your child “too much” all based on good intention.
But hey, don’t start wearing glasses just for this.

At this age the eyes still change quite easily. Kids who have a full summer filled with outdoor adventures might have -1D at the beginning of the summer and zero at the end.

For this, I’d say he should only wear the glasses prescribed if / when he really needs the correction. If he is unable to see something that he wants to or has to see. So he should not struggle or miss out on things because of the blur, but in any other situations he just should not wear corrections so he doesn’t get used to them.

In practical terms - assuming this is the first ever prescription for him and he hasn’t worn glasses before.
No smartphone, no tablet / ipad. No screens closer than an adult’s arm’s length, not to mention their short arms…
For school, I’d say a laptop monitor at minimum 60cms would be ideal. Positioned in a way that it is elevated so the direction of looking is not downwards at 45 degrees. Good lights to support gains from the peripheral vision is a must. (But the light should not be one directional, should not have a huge contrast at a certain angle only.) For this he should not need glasses.
Similarly, he should not need corrections for playing or reading at home.
If watching movies, that should be on a decent size of screens meters(!) away. If for this he asks for corrections, then I’d let him have corrections.
When leaving home. I would never offer wearing the glasses upfront but would wait for him to ask for them - if at all. So going for a walk, to the playground, playing ball games, etc… Best would be without corrections. However, if going to watch a match or just doing any activities when you screen for things 20 or 50+ meters away, again, I’d leave it for him to ask for glasses if he needs them.

If he got to -1.25D without needing glasses, he still has quite good eye accommodation power despite developing some bad eye habits. If getting glasses made for him, make sure his prescription is equal sph in both eyes and is without cyl added. And I’d also say, feel free to drop 0.5D sph from the opto’s prescription.

Why?
If he gets full opto correction and wears the glasses constantly, his eyes will lose the ability to adjust and accommodate for different distances. Basically glasses would put his current bad habits in “plaster” without the possibility to return to normal. But by allowing him to wear glasses when he needs them, he would get stimulus on what clear vision is and when not wearing glasses his brain would try to work to achieve the same clarity. While with this -1.25D he should have clear vision without correction already up to at least 88cms.

With such a low diopter and with first glasses, actually some eye exercises restoring the eyes full natural range of motion may help, too. I’d recommend finding 5 minutes of playful ways of fixing eyes on an object and then while keeping the gaze turning the head left-right-up-down, and the other one is fixing the head’s position and following a moving object with the eyes - sideways and up and down. If the eyesight deterioration was caused by screens, there is a good chance that his eyes were too much fixated on the screen and didn’t move left and right or up and down on the full range because there was no need for it.

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Thank you @BiancaK for the detailed message!!

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@BiancaK Should we use Atropine drops?

Optos recommend the drops to relax the kids’ eye strain caused by too much close up time.
Without good vision habits it will not have a real or lasting effect. But with good vision habits it is not really needed (and I don’t think there is enough data shared what it causes to the eyes if it is used long term.)
Basically it can be compared to learning to relax your muscles e.g. in your shoulders or relaxing them by a chiropractor every day but letting you go on with the habit of tensing them up. And then what happens if you do not have the chiropractor around for a longer period of time?!?

Short answer: Atropine doesn’t treat the root cause but attempts to offset the damage by bad habits.
It is better to get rid of bad habits than have big hits from bad habits and compensate for those with big counter actions?

Edit:
This is how I see quick fixes not requiring changes to the existing bad habits:
A distant relative died a few months ago. Talked to his daughter and she said her father had been taking daily pills to lower high blood pressure and another pill to increase blood pressure back a bit because the first pill made it too low. The net result is the same, I just don’t believe it is the best method…

Makes sense. I totally agree, I have concerns regarding Atropine as well. Unfortunately both his Vision therapist and OD recommended Atropine for myopia control. The other options on the table from OD were OrthoK etc.

(1) I am trying to incorporate 1-2 hours outdoor time (mainly basketball and bike) - Currently this is without glasses, but I have ordered outdoor sunglasses and transitions (single lens) which I will have him wear when he needs them. He wont be wearing any corrections indoors.

(2) Planning to start his vision therapy for esophoria.

(3) He is doing online schooling this year as well as he is not vaccinated. This is my main concern and I want to ensure his myopia doesnt progress. I remind him to look away for 20 secs every 15-20 mins. I am trying to make sure distance between him and his monitor is at least 60 cms if not more. I am trying to incorporate 20 mins of eye exercise in his daily routine in a fun way. Any other advice in this area would be really very helpful!

(4) I am reading wiki on Active Focus. If there are any pointers or success stories in this area it would be helpful as well to know!

(5) I am giving him Vitamin D, Eyetamins, making sure he is hydrated and having a healthy diet.

(6) If there are any findings with respect to Accupuncture, Ayurveda that has worked please let me know and I can add those as well.

I read on this blog somewhere, in distant past, that +1 or +1,5 diopter glasses might be a decent preventive measure for kids when they get on a close screen or reading. I’ve given my 8 year old daughter decent +1 glasses, thinking it can’t hurt and may help prevent strain. She doesn’t always use them but does regularly put them on for extensive reading or a half hour movie-time on a laptop. Her eyes are how they should be, no myopia. She quite likes her +1 glasses as she notices the screen gets a little bigger and her eyes feel relaxed with them. Is there general consensus here about this measure being a good or bad idea?

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Welcome!

I’m really passionate about reducing child myopia, having kids myself.
Its always great to see other parents on here taking positive steps towards reversing their child’s myopia.

My word of advice is that this whole experience can get really complicated and detailed and hard. When dealing with children its really about getting good foundational habits down that are easy and automatic. All the eye exercises, measurements, eye vitamins, technical details, 20/20/20 rule is totally beyond children.

I believe that with kids its about getting a few essential things right:

1.With low myopia (-1.25 would count as low) its really about your child just not wearing glasses as much as possible. Only put them on when absolutely necessary! i.e. at night. or when he’s in a classroom trying to see the whiteboard. Get the correct pair of normalised and differentials for your child. You’ll need to do the studying on that to get it right. BUT ONCE AGAIN, he is low myopia so he should be avoiding using these glasses as much as possible.
2. Don’t worry too much about remote schooling and screen use. When its related to education. Take the stress off your shoulders. Learning is important and accept that he will use screens for his schooling.
3. All other play, socialising and free time should avoid screens and books as much as possible. Its really what I child does in his spare time, not school time, that will improve his eyesight. No ipad, computer games or excessive reading. Remember, books are actually worse than TV because they are held to the face much closer than a TV unit if placed far away. An hour of TV where the unit is 2-3m away is miles better than an hour reading a book.
4. Get outside! We’re not exactly sure why being outside is good for your eyes, maybe the vitamin D, maybe the distance vision, maybe the fact that we just use our eyes more when outside, maybe all the above. Just get your kid outside as much as possible.
5. Relax on the rest, they’re good-to-haves but don’t stress if you cant do everything. You’ve mentioned ALOT of other things you want to try like measuring, active focus training, vitamins, acupuncture, carrot juice etc. My honest opinion is please don’t overwhelm your child and YOURSELF with too many things. I really believe if you focus on the 4 points I’ve mentioned above you’ll see improvements.

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The light too for sure.

THIS! Full bore is the best way to stress and burn yourself out and to spark a sure rebellion in you child. Build better healthier habits for life, a lot of that other stuff is neither practical nor sustainable. @aa14 your child’s myopia is very low you have the huge advantage of early intervention. But keep in mind this is a long haul investment, so pace yourself for both of your sakes.

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You can use the google extension eyeCare - Protect your vision - Chrome Web Store for the computer to do that for you :slight_smile:

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Fully agree with @Alexbreedon1111 on taking it easy on measurements and tools invented for screen addicted adults with sedentary lifestyle. Kids run around, chase balls, etc => naturally change between distances and still remember autofocus and do it naturally. Don’t bother him with AF, improvement doesn’t require him to understand that he is doing autofocus. And too much focus on autofocus can generate eyestrain which is counter productive…

When we talk about reducing screen time, everybody thinks of the 6 to 8 hours of school or work time spent in front of the screen. But reality is that school and work requires screen time. And it is the other 16 to 18 hours that matter a lot. That’s when it is not a laptop screen at minimum 60cms but a small phone screen or tablet at less than 40 for hours and hours uninterrupted.
You will get eye exercises as part of the vision training. So for the Endmyopia part I would not add anything that feels like a practice. But would rather introduce games where e.g. catching a ball or hitting a target with a ball is included. Or spotting signs or things when travelling as a game. Or competing with him who can read number plates first. Or if you go to a place where the options are listed on a board asking him to read something for you, i.e. disguising “vision check” as a reading test? You’ll notice if he leans / walks too close to things or he will ask for the glasses…

I agree with most of Alex’s replies. Except for the reading when it is a physical book.
As long as that is done in good lights with good distance it is not ruining the eyes really. But reality is that many kids cuddle up with books in a quiet corner where lights are not the best. Or read them on the floor while holding their heads in their hands only 35cms away. The advantage of books over screen is that your eyes move a lot more and you take more in from the peripheral vision. I’d sooner keep book reading with good lights and posture than introduce something else that is bound to fail as a regular habit and would default back to screen time eventually…

But all good recommendations on the other questions. :blush:

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Great tip!! Thank you!

Thank you so much! Such great advice from everyone! I take a 30 min break and do some fun eye games with him and taking him out for 1-2 hours daily. Also trying to get my anxiety in control and set proper expectations with myself :slight_smile:

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