Is your child complaining of blurry vision? Is their nearsightedness getting worse every year? Are you looking for a solution that involves more than just a new pair of thicker glasses? Look no further! Our eye doctors at Professional VisionCare Associates are ready to educate and help you make the best decision for your child's changing vision.
Here are some helpful articles to provide up-to-date information about various topics in controlling nearsightedness. Please check back often for updates!
Myopia (or nearsightedness) is blurry vision at distance. Common complaints you may have heard from your child include, "I can't see the board at school" or "I can't see the TV." It results from a mismatch between the eye's focal power and the length of the eyeball. The focal power of the eye is too strong, and the eyeball is elongated, creating a blurry image on the retina. Near objects are often clear within a certain range.
Myopia is not just a problem of the eye’s focal power. Because the nearsighted eye is often abnormally elongated, myopia is frequently associated with eyesight threatening disease later in life. Research shows the prevalence of myopia among school age children is growing at an alarming rate. According to an article published by the World Health Organization, one out of every two people will be myopic by the year 2050. This means an increasing number of people are at risk for severe vision impairment in late adulthood.
Myopia is caused by a mixture of genetic and environmental factors, which lead to an elongation of the length of the eyeball (in millimeters). A child's risk of developing myopia increases if one or both parents are myopic. Other than genetics, too little exposure to outdoor light, excessive time doing near vision tasks, and eye posture and focusing ability all play a part in progressive myopia.
Click here to assess your child's risk of developing myopia.
Cataracts tend to develop earlier in highly myopic eyes. Furthermore, when it comes time for cataract surgery, the risk of post operative complications is greater in highly myopic eyes.
Myopic eyes are more elongated, creating an overall stretched out retina with greater propensity for mechanical and oxidative stress on the nerve fibers at the optic nerve. This can lead to glaucomatous damage, even with normal levels of eye pressure.
Retinal stretching at the macula from high myopia causes various degenerative changes which can lead to myopic maculopathy. This causes central vision impairment.
Since the retina in highly myopic eyes is more stretched out, there is a higher risk of retinal thinning, holes and tears in the periphery. If left untreated, they can lead to retinal detachment.
The higher the myopia, the greater the risk of myopia-related eye disease.
The following table shows the relative risk of developing myopia-related eye disease compared to an emmetrope (i.e. someone who requires no prescription to see clearly at distance).
(Adopted from Flitcroft, 2012)
Although we cannot modify genetics, we can slow down (and in some cases stop) the progression of myopia by how we use our eyes, and what we prescribe to correct vision.
These soft contact lenses create optical blur outside the central retina, which reduces the stimulus for eye elongation, and slows or stops the progression of myopia.
These rigid contact lenses gently reshape the front surface of the eye while you sleep. Learn more here.
The reading portion of the lens creates optical blur on half of the retina, reducing the stimulus for eye elongation. While this is not as effective as the other myopia management options, it still offers some slowing of myopia progression, and some myopia control is better than none.
These non-commercial, pharmaceutical eye drops are prescribed for night time administration, and many studies have shown very good efficacy in slowing myopia progression. While the exact mechanism of action is not well understood, it is thought that atropine acts on specific receptors of the retina and sclera to slow elongation of the eye.
Research suggests that at least 1.5 hours of time spent outdoors daily can have a significant impact on slowing down myopia progression or delaying myopia onset.
Avoiding all near work is impossible, but limiting the amount of time spent in front of digital devices (especially when not associated with school work) may help slow down myopia progression. In addition, taking frequent breaks to look at distance objects during concentrated near work is beneficial as well.
To schedule an appointment, please give us a call during our business hours.
14607 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, California 91403, United States
Monday - Thursday: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Friday: 8:30am - 5:00pm
Saturday: 8:00am - 2:00pm