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Children's eyesight is worsening, what parents should look out for

More children between six to seventeen-years-old are presenting increased cases of myopia. Waco Vision Source has the first treatments in Waco for the condition.

WACO, Texas — More screen time could mean more visits to the eye doctor.

One optometrist in Waco has seen a rise in cases of Myopia, more commonly known as nearsightedness, in her younger patients. She said it's a symptom of the pandemic.

"They've been doing this online learning, then suddenly they've changed (prescription) two to three times the normal amount," an optometrist at Waco Vision Source, Dr. Rebekah Sanders, said.

Screen time, and too much of it is something Dr. Sanders said can be a cause of Myopia, but this isn't proven yet.

But parents like Jackie Dominguez, whose daughter is being treated for Myopia, has made sure to change things at home.

"We definitely lessened screen time because today they do a lot of work on computers, on screens and on iPads," Dominguez said.  

Signs of Myopia include constant headaches, excessive eye watering, rubbing of eyes, squinting, or needing to be closer to certain objects, including the TV.

Waco Vision Source has teamed up with TreeHouse Eyes to help recognize, treat and prevent Myopia. They're the first to bring this care to Waco.

Because of this treatment, patients at Waco Vision Source, like Dominguez and her daughter have not seen their Myopia worsen.

"Before treatment, her eyes were getting worst every six months, so now we've gone almost a full year without any changes to her prescription," Dominguez said.

Treatments include a combination of eyedrops and prescribing eyeglasses.

If treated right, it will slow down the progression of Myopia, but not stop it.

"It doesn't have to get worst, we can sop it now by taking the appropriate steps," Dr. Sanders said.

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