Myopia Control We have all heard that it is important to take care of our children’s eyes. We may get them sunglasses, encourage healthy food and exercise, and take them to an eye exam yearly. If children need glasses, most parents don’t hesitate to do this as well. These practices are very important to the health of the eye. Unfortunately, we are learning that a very common eye problem may need more attention than previously thought.
Myopia A condition in which the eye is longer than it should be, which prevents light from focusing on the retina.
This causes the eye to be in focus for near objects, but out of focus for distance objects. That is why it is called “nearsighted”. Myopia develops due to genetic and environmental causes. It is the most common visual problem with young people, usually starting before 10 years of age.
Myopia is Increasing Myopia has always been one of the most common eye disorders, but rates are exploding with the increased use of handheld
electronic devices (i.e. cell phones, tablets), more reading, and less time spent outdoors. The incidence in the United States is over 40% for young people. In Asia, the rates are now as high as 80%. Myopia Complications No one really wants to spend money on glasses, contacts, and LASIK, but these expenses are just the tip of the iceberg for patients with high myopia. Sight-threatening conditions may begin to develop as myopia increases, such as glaucoma and cataracts. Retinal detachments, which can cause blindness, are twice as likely in the myopic population.
What Can be Done? Previous strategies to reduce how quickly myopia increases have been unsuccessful. Within the past few years, however, research has emerged regarding effective treatments. Your child may be a candidate for these treatments if his/her eyes are getting more nearsighted from year to year, he/she has trouble seeing things at a distance, a family history of high myopia exists, or he/she spends an excessive amount of time on handheld electronic devices. If so, he/she should be evaluated for myopia and myopic progression. Baily Cove Eye Care is proud to help identify and treat this condition with latest tools. Call for an exam today! (Learn more here.)
What does Myopia look like? When we are myopic, we can see text and objects that are close to us, but anything outside of arm reach tends to be blurry. The extent of the blur varies based on the progression of the condition. Check out this video from Essilor (see below) to get an idea of what the world looks like through the eyes of someone suffering from Myopia.