Effective Child Myopia Management

Services for Optimal Vision

WHAT IS MYOPIA?

Understanding myopia is the first step in effective Child Myopia Management. Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a common type of eye disease where close objects appear clearly, but distant objects appear blurry. In myopic eyes, the eyeball is either longer than normal, or the cornea is too curved, both causing some images to be blurry.

Myopia can also be explained a condition in which the eye focuses light at a point in front of the retina instead of directly on the retina. Therefore, a blurred or distorted visual image is produced on the retina. This occurs due to a lengthening of the eyeball referred to as axial elongation. The smaller and further away the target from the eye, the blurrier the vision.

WHY IS MYOPIA AN ISSUE?

Treating the symptoms alone could worsen the problem.

The myopic progression is of great concern for the World Health Organization (WHO), eye care and general health care professionals, as well as parents. Mounting scientific research indicates that myopia leads to an increased risk of several eye pathologies that may lead to visual impairment or blindness. Researchers and clinicians worldwide are directing their efforts into better understanding the cause and finding the most effective methods to slow down the myopic progression.

Child myopia is reaching epidemic proportions. In the U.S., 40% of kids have myopia, compared to 20% three decades ago. 1 in 3 children now affected.


 Children's eyes are growing at the fastest rate between the ages of 6 and 12.

There is a 25% chance that a child will

develop myopia if one parent is myopic.

That number jumps to 50% if both are myopic.

50% of the world's population is likely to have myopia by year 2050.


 Many researchers believe reduced outdoor time and increased near work, including screen time on devices, are part of the problem.


Vision problems in children usually start

between the ages of 6 and 12, so regular

eye and vision care is important during the elementary school years

Controlling myopia in children is important because as their eyes grow and their myopia increases, the dependency on glasses increases. This can reduce the ability of children to participate actively in sports and other activities. Myopia is not just an inconvenience; it can pose serious threats to long-term eye health, making child myopia management crucial.

High levels of myopia can lead to severe complications, including retinal detachment, myopic maculopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts. We can’t change kids’ genes, but we can take steps to ensure that we’re doing all we can to keep them healthy.

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WHAT causes MYOPIA?

Evidence shows that myopia is hereditary, or at least the tendency to develop myopia. If one or both parents are nearsighted, there is an increased chance their children will be nearsighted. Environmental risk factors include time spent doing close work, such as computer work or reading, increased screen time and not spending enough time

outdoors also plays a role in the development of myopia.

WHAT IS THE PREVALENCE OF MYOPIA?

The prevalence of myopia is increasing in the U.S. and worldwide. Researchers project the trend will continue in the coming years. Forty-two percent of Americans are nearsighted, up from 25 percent in 1971. In the developed countries of East and Southeast Asia, the prevalence has now reached 80 to 90 percent among children in high school. Projections suggest that almost 50 percent of the world will be myopic by 2050.


What Does Myopia Look Like Through Your Child's Eyes?

CVI Myopia Simulator Classroom at 0.00D and 5.00D

HOW CAN I TELL IF MY CHILD HAs MYOPIA?

Vision problems can be subtle, especially in children. Myopia usually develops in childhood, so observe whether your child sits too close to the television, has frequent headaches, squints to read and rubs their eyes. Worsening school or athletic performance, or withdrawal from those activities, could indicate a vision problem.

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DOES MYOPIA CAUSE OTHER COMPLICATIONS?

Myopia is categorized as mild, moderate or high severity, depending on the amount of correction needed. The term high myopia generally used to describe nearsightedness of -5.00 to -6.00 D or higher. People with high myopia have

an increased risk of retinal detachment, cataracts, myopic degeneration, and glaucoma.

WHY IS TREATING MYOPIA WITH GLASSES OR CONTACT LENSES NOT ENOUGH?

Corrective lenses such as regular glasses or contact lenses refocus the light to compensate for myopia. This is what allows someone with myopia to see more clearly. However, lenses DO NOT address the myopia itself: the elongated eyeball or overly curved front of the eye and the risks associated with it.

WHAT IS MYOPIA CONTROL OR MYOPIA MANAGEMENT?

Myopia Control is the term describing the treatment methods used to slow down or stop the progressive loss of far vision in children by preventing the eyeball from growing too long.

WHY & WHEN SHOULD MY CHILD START MYOPIA CONTROL?

The more advanced myopia is, the greater the risks. Therefore, our doctor recommends starting Myopia Control as soon as myopia is detected. It’s important to halt myopia before your child’s vision deteriorates any further. This is the only way to minimize the risks. It also has the significant benefit of keeping your child from needing stronger and stronger lenses over time.

Incresing myopia
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What can I do today to slow the progression of myopia?

An actionable step is to increase time outdoors as sunlight exposure lowers the chances of nearsightedness in children. When doing close work, such as working on a computer or mobile device, encourage frequent breaks to focus on objects farther away. The America Optometric Association offers the 20-20-20 rule: take a 20-second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes.

What Can I Do To Further Help My Child?

Together, we can help manage myopia.

More than just vision correction, we offer a range of child myopia management strategies including multifocal contact lenses, orthokeratology (Ortho-K), and atropine eye drops so we can help keep your child's future brilliant. The first step is scheduling a comprehensive eye exam so Dr. Bansal can recommend the best treatment option for your child.

The next step is learning more about the options.

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TREATMENT OPTIONS

Daytime Contact Lenses for Myopia

Nighttime Contact Lenses for Myopia

Atropine Drop Therapy

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"Why can't my child wear regular glasses or contacts?"

Standard spectacle lenses primarily correct myopia – but they do not assist with controlling the progression of myopia.

Lifestyle Changes to Slow Myopia Progression

Myopia is multifactorial in origin with both genetic and environmental factors contributing to its genesis. There is a clear link between myopia and environmental risk factors such as near work, age at which education/school started, years of schooling, time spent outdoors, lifestyle factors like housing type, urban versus rural living spaces with one or more of these factors involved in the current myopia epidemic. This knowledge also provides us with an opportunity to reduce the risk of onset as well as progression of myopia through modification of environmental risk factors such as near work and outdoor activities.

Ask your Doctor about Ways to Manage Myopia

Regular glasses and contact lenses can help kids see more clearly, but they do not slow down the progression of myopia, which means kids may need increasingly stronger prescriptions as they continue to grow. However, certain types of contact lenses—including soft lenses—can slow down the speed at which myopia develops. According to the American Optometric Association multifocal contact lenses for children with myopia can slow the progression of nearsightedness, providing a more effective and efficient treatment option.


Improve Outdoor Time

Kids spend a lot of time indoors at home and in classrooms, so whenever possible, try to plan more outdoor activities. Researchers suggest that myopia progression may be caused by light levels, which may be directly related to how little time kids spend outdoors nowadays. Increased outdoor activity has been shown to retard the onset of myopia by 11-34%. One possible reason for this is because components of sunlight activate vitamin D, which may play a potential role in eye growth. Also, kids are usually engaged in more distance-vision activities when they’re outside, which places fewer strenuous near-vision demands on young eyes.

Delay Introducing Young Children to Screens

Data from 145 studies covering 2.1 million participants revealed that increases in myopia are driven principally by lifestyle. Today’s youth spend a lot of time performing near work activities, often on electronic devices. Of course it’s unrealistic to ask kids not to use these tools at all, but try to limit them so that there’s more balance in your child’s day.

KIDS SHOULD GROW STRONGER.

Their nearsightedness shouldn’t.

Contact our office to learn more about how our child myopia management programs can help.

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