What is Myopia?
Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, causes poor long-distance vision. In myopic eyes, the eyeball is either longer than normal, or the cornea is too curved. In either case, light entering the eye is not focused appropriately onto the retina which causes blurred vision. While there is no cure for myopia, early intervention can slow further progression of this condition.
Our eye doctors are trained myopia specialists who are ready to assist you in creating a personalized treatment plan.
- Blurry vision while looking at distant objects
- Squinting while looking at objects
- Sitting close to a television screen or computer screen
- Apparent unawareness at distant objects
- Frequent rubbing of eyes
Myopia On the Rise
The number of myopia cases in children has sharply risen in the past decade, and is one of the largest problems impacting children’s vision in the U.S. In the U.S. 40% of children are already myopic (over 14 million children).
The prevalence of myopia and high myopia in children and adults isn’t just a U.S. problem, it is rising globally at an alarming rate. By 2050, it is estimated that 50% of the world’s population will be myopic.
Why Does My Child Have Myopia?
Why the drastic rise in myopia? Experts believe that a global decrease in time spent outdoors coupled with an exponential rise in screen time is to blame.
Myopia is caused by a combination of lifestyle and genetics. Risk factors include:
- Family history of myopia
- Insufficient time spent outdoors
- Increased Screen Time
Myopia in children will progress until around the age of 20, when the eye stops growing. Due to the progressive nature of the condition in children, it is vital that they have regular eye appointments and a treatment plan in place to slow the progression. Remember, delaying the onset of myopia may also reduce the severity of vision issues down the road.
The odds of a child having myopia are approximately
1 in 2: When both parents are myopic
1 in 3: When one parents is myopic
1 in 4: When neither parent is myopic
Treatment Options: What Can I Do?
There is no cure for myopia, however, careful management is vital to prevent the condition from causing sight-threatening issues in the future. Our eye doctors are trained myopia specialists who are ready to assist you in creating a personalized treatment plan. Treatment plans vary from person to person, but can include the following:
- Increase Time Outdoors: sunlight helps to promote healthy eye growth and lowers the chance of nearsightedness in children. Increased time spent outdoors can slow myopia progression and may decrease the risk of new myopia onset by 50%.
- Treatments & Prescriptions:
- Orthokeratology: Hard contacts worn overnight to reshape the eye.
- Contact Lenses: Specialized multifocal daytime lenses
- Pharmacologic Interventions: In development but not FDA approved
- Limit Screen Time: Reducing the amount of time spent on digital devices is critical to myopia management. When using devices, use the 20-20-20 rule, which is to take a 20 second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes.
Together We Can Manage Your Myopia
Myopia is a condition that is easily managed if you follow your eye doctor's treatment plan and prioritize your eye health. At Mill Creek Family Eye Center, our eye doctors are committed to providing you and your child with cutting edge myopia care.