Controlling Myopia for Better Vision
One of the most common vision problems we encounter at Park Slope Eye is myopia, more commonly known as nearsightedness. People suffering from myopia can see nearby objects clearly, but cannot focus properly on distant objects.
Myopia is a growing problem in the U.S. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that the incidence of myopia in Americans between the ages of 12 and 54 increased from 25% to over 41% from 1972 to 2004. Once thought to be strictly a genetic issue, there is mounting concern that the growth in myopia in the population may be driven by environmental components, such as the increased use of computer screens.
The good news is that most forms of myopia can be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. However, there are other treatments for myopia that hold the promise of greatly reducing the severity or even completely eliminating the problem of “nearsightedness.”
What is the Big Deal About Nearsightedness?
Infographic: How to Control Myopia in Children?
Does your child’s prescription seem to go up every year? No big deal right? He/She just needs an updated pair of glasses or contacts and it’s back to business as usual. Well in the past we once believed being nearsighted (myopic) was just a nuisance, certainly not harmful. Wow we’re we wrong!
The evidence shows that the more myopic your child gets, the more at risk you are for serious eye diseases/conditions later in life! Yes, that you read that correctly. The higher the Rx, the higher the risk for future problems. And it’s the types of diseases/conditions that can result in major vision problems, even blindness. We now know that glaucoma, cataract, macular degeneration and retinal detachments are all linked to myopia. The more myopic, the more at risk. That is why it is so very very important that we do what we can to protect our children’s eyes from getting worse. Here are some quick facts.
At 3.00D of myopia, the risk of Cataract triples, and the risk of Retinal Detachment and Myopic Maculopathy is 9 times that of a person who isn’t nearsighted. Once children reach 5.00D of myopia, they hold a 5 times greater risk of Cataract, a whopping 21 times greater risk of Retinal Detachment, and a dramatic 40 times greater risk of Myopic Maculopathy; higher levels bring more eye-watering risks. These ratio risks demonstrate that there is no physiological level of myopia that could be considered “safe” in comparison to those who aren’t nearsighted (Flitcroft, 2012).
Why is my Child’s Prescription Increasing Year After Year?
If you want to help ensure your child’s eyes stay as healthy as possible then myopia control is a must. As mentioned, myopia control often involves Orthokeratology, commonly referred to as “braces for the eye”. Other common forms of myopia control include special soft multifocal contact lenses and medicated eye drops. It all starts with a myopia control consultation with a doctor who is up on the latest research, technology and techniques. A customized treatment plan that is most appropriate for you child will be discussed.
We encourage you to learn more about myopia control by reading the following articles:
- All About Visions Myopia Control Guide For Parents:
Myopia Control & Correction
For patients who may not wish wear eyeglass or contact lenses, Park Slope Eye offers alternative treatments to control myopia. These include orthokeratology (also known as corneal shaping or refractive therapy), atropine and special soft multifocal contacts.
Orthokeratology (OrthoK) consists of reshaping the cornea of the eye by wearing corrective contact lenses overnight, while you are sleeping. The lenses gently shape the cornea to provide a more favorable, often flatter surface for refracting light. The results can be dramatic, and many OrthoK patients can achieve vision acuity of 20/40 or better in a short time. OrthoK can also be effectively used in younger patients, who may not be comfortable wearing eyeglass or contact lenses during the day.
Myopia Therapy in Brooklyn NY
There’s no need to go through life without seeing the world around you more clearly. A customized treatment plan that is most appropriate for you child will be discussed. Dr. Justin Bazan of Park Slope Eye is passionate about myopia control. For more information or to set up a free myopia control consultation please contact Park Slope Eye and reduce, correct or even eliminate myopia. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule an appointment with the leading myopia control eye doctor in Brooklyn NY.