Myopia FAQs

Myopia is a refractive error that causes blurry vision when looking at objects in the distance. In some communities, as many as 90 percent of people of all ages deal with myopia, so it is a very common concern when patients visit their eye doctor. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about myopia from your Doctor of Optometry at StylEyes in West Des Moines, IA.


What are some signs my child might need myopia treatment?

Childhood myopia may manifest itself as a sudden drop in your child's grades. Children who develop myopia may not be able to see the board or screen at the front of the classroom. They may not be able to see clearly enough to learn how to read.

Another sign of this kind of nearsightedness is disinterest in fun activities. Myopic children often prefer to curl up with a toy or a book, because they cannot see well enough to join in games. They may have headaches later in the day, or complain that their eyes hurt.

How can I get myopia care for my kid if I don't have insurance?

In Iowa, you can get a free vision screening for your child who is three or older through Prevent Blindness Iowa. This organization's Vision Service Plan (VSP) also distributes vouchers for free eye exams and glasses to thousands of needy Iowa families every year.

How can I keep my child's myopia from getting worse?

Make sure your child spends at least 80 to 120 minutes (about two hours) outdoors every day. Spending two hours a day outside results in a 50 percent reduction in developing myopia, and a 25 percent reduction in the progress of myopia in children who already have it.

Can you cheat on an eye exam, for instance, by memorizing the letters on the chart?

It is possible to cheat on an eye exam, but this keeps you from getting the right glasses or contacts to correct your vision, so you can drive safely and participate fully in all the activities of your life.

What is Ortho-K?

Orothokeratology, also known as ortho-K or corneal refractive therapy (CRT), is a method of myopia treatment for children that has them wear special contact lenses overnight. Your eye doctor can also prescribe it to correct blurry vision in adults caused by farsightedness, nearsightedness, or astigmatism.

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