Nearsightedness, medically known as myopia, refers to vision that is good at close range but not at a distance.
The World Health Organization has reported that Myopia is reaching epidemic proportions. The WHO goes on to report that Myopia not only results in vision impairment but can lead to forms of glaucoma, retinal problems and permanent, uncorrectable vision loss.
In the USA 42% of the population has myopia. Between the 1970s and 2000s there has been a 66% increase in Myopia. Myopia can arise for many reasons. If both parents are nearsighted, there is a very good chance their children will be nearsighted as well. Myopia can have a genetic link.
The most recent research has show that there are a number of treatments beyond eyeglasses which can help young children see their best and REDUCE the amount of myopia that they will develop in their lifetime.
- An accurate pair of prescription glasses – Annual exams are advised at a minimum.
- BiFocal Eyeglasses have been shown to reduce the progression of myopia.
- BiFocal Contact lenses can help as well.
- Orthokeratology with a trained specialist can reduce or eliminate a dependance on eyeglasses without surgery.
- Low dose Atropine eyedrops are effective in the right patient.
What can parents/guardians do NOW to help their children?
- A complete eye exam with dilation between Kindergarten and First grade. Even if the child has no symptoms. Most kids will not know that they need glasses.
- If Eyeglasses are prescribed, wear them! Get annual eye exams to be sure the prescription is current.
- DRAMATICALLY Reduce screen time & device time.
- Get Outside! Between 1 and 1.5 hours Outside Playing everyday can reduce a child’s risk of developing myopia by 50%
Recent studies prove the more time spent outdoors will slow the onset or progression of myopia. This is important, as myopia can seriously impact long term eye health (beyond needing eyeglasses) if left untreated.
TACOMA EYE is the only area clinic that has a myopia management center. At TACOMA EYE, we are here to answer any questions you may have and after a complete exam may suggest a more involved MYOPIA ASSESSMENT and manage your child’s myopia without the need for surgery. Call 253-220-2563 to schedule your child’s eye exam today. If your child already wears glasses request an assessment to see if they are a candidate for Myopia Management at Tacoma Eye.