COVID-19 pandemic impacting children’s vision due to increased screen time, Amarillo eye doctors have a treatment

Updated: Jul. 23, 2020 at 10:10 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an increase in screen time for many children.

Because of this, eye doctors feel children’s vision will continue to decline due to the constant strain of screen lights.

Myopia is nearsightedness or blurry distance vision, something that Amarillo eye doctors say is growing at an alarming rate due to more children sitting in front of a screen and spending less time playing outdoors.

“I see so much better, and glasses are kind of hard to always take care of and keep on,” said Landry Wilson, patient at Premier Vision.

Landry is nearsighted and used to struggle with seeing until recently.

“When she had a visit with the doctor, her eyes were getting worse. I was concerned they would progressively get worse at a quick rate,” said Dixie Wilson, Landry’s mother.

Landry has been doing treatment to help fix her myopia, an epidemic that eye doctors say is far too common in Amarillo.

“We know that within a 60 mile radius of Amarillo, there are over 20,000 kids that are nearsighted. We know that in the next ten years, that is going to grow by at least 30 percent. We were not willing to just sit by and continue to do the things we’ve always done,” said Dr. John Todd Cornett, optometrist and managing partner at Premier Vision.

Treatments are now available for children starting at the age of four.

“In the past, all eye doctors could do is really put glasses and contacts on kids and watch them get worse. Now, we have new ways to treat it, new treatment protocols. Basically to help slow down the eye growth and slow down the prescription,” said Kayci Houlette, optometrist at Premier Vision.

Only six months in, and Landry no longer needs her glasses.

“When I had glasses, I couldn’t see as good. I couldn’t see as good as I can now. It’s so much better for me,” said Landry Wilson.

Treatment for myopia includes contact lenses worn at night or prescription eye drops.

Treatment usually continues up until the eyes fully develop.

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