What is Myopia? Why Should I be Concerned?
In myopia, light focuses in front of the retina due to the elongated eye. This causes blurry vision in the distance. Myopia as known as “nearsightedness”, is not only a refractive error, but it is a chronic, progressive eye disease characterized by eye elongation and increased risk of eye diseases: cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment and myopic macular degeneration.
Although higher levels of myopia are associated with greater risk of developing eye disease, it is imperative to know that any amount degree of myopia increases the risk of vision threatening conditions that could lead to blindness in a lifetime.
For every one diopter of increased myopia, the risk for developing myopic macular degeneration or loss of vision by 67%. If you’re under -3.00 myopia, the risk is 20x and this risk is 40x if the myopia is greater than -6.00 myopia.
What is myopia control & why have I never heard about it?
Myopia control includes a group of treatment methods backed by Science to slow down the progression of myopia. There is no current method that can completely stop the progression as of yet, but the goal is to flatten the risk curve.
In years past, the only treatment offered to a progressing myopia was to prescribe stronger glasses or contact lenses to allow them to see well, and the eye was allowed to progress until it plateaued once growth was complete, typically in the mid to late teen years
What puts your child at risk?
1. UNSTABLE BINOCULAR VISION
An unstable binocular vision is a risk factor for early onset of myopia and myopia progression. Your binocular vision can be examined by booking a binocular vision appointment with Dr. Pink Sidhu and Associates.
2. MYOPIC PARENTS
There is a 25% chance that a child will develop myopia if one PARENT IS MYOPIC.
The number jumps to 50% if both are myopic.
3. INCREASED SCREEN TIME
There is a link between increased screen time and reduced outdoor time.
School-aged children who spend 7+ hours per week or more using computers or mobile video games TRIPLE THEIR RISK for myopia.
Current Myopia Control Options
Specialty Eyeglasses and Contact Lenses +
Spectacle lenses or contact lenses may be the right choice for you and your family. It is a non-invasive, safe, and effective option for younger children. DIMMS technology has been proven to slow down 60% of myopic progression.
Atropine Use +
Low-dose atropine eye drops are another form of myopia control for children, recommended by Dr. Pink Sidhu and Associates. These drops are administered to your child on a daily basis to reduce eye strain and slow the progression of myopia. The drops temporarily reduce the eye’s ability to focus at near, relaxing the eyes and controlling myopia. This is a prescription item and dispensed at a compounding pharmacy.
Ortho-K is a type of nearsightedness control for kids where they hard lenses overnight to change the shape of the eye. This lens serves as a night time brace. The corneal reshaping will reduce the myopia and allow for daytime freedom form any glasses or contacts.
Vision Therapy/Vision Training +
Vision therapy is helpful to all patients, but it is especially beneficial for emergent/pre-myopes and early myopes because it helps strengthen near vision skills. Myopia is a symptom and an adaptation to an overloaded or fragile near visual system due to modern day activities ( increased screen time, excessive near tasks and limited outdoor time). Function alters structure. VT helps delay the process for those who are transitioning from an “as if” myopic visual system, and adapting to an “is“ myopic visual system.