Myopia Control Myopia is also called nearsightedness. To be nearsighted means that you are literally “near-sighted” — you can see nearby objects clearly, but distant objects look blurry. Myopia is measured in units called diopters (D). Eyeglasses and contact lenses that correct myopia start with a minus sign (–).
Myopia is progressive
In children, it’s common for prescriptions for glasses & contact lenses to grow stronger each year. During the ages of 6-12, children’s eyes are growing the fastest. However, there is more to worry about than the inconvenience of ever-thickening lenses.
Myopia can increase your child’s risk of certain sight-threatening eye diseases. Eyes that have myopia grow too long and cause the normal eye to change its shape from an orange to an egg. Progressive myopia is nearsightedness that worsens year after year. If myopia progresses enough, it can result in high myopia, a severe degree of nearsightedness that increases the lifetime risk of developing several serious eye conditions, because the eye has grown too long. Children with progressive myopia have significant life-long increase of sight-threatening eye conditions such as retinal detachments, glaucoma and cataracts.
Children with high myopia have a 50% higher risk of developing glaucoma, are 3 times more likely to develop cataracts, and 6 times more likely to develop retinal detachment as adults than children who don’t have myopia.
Can myopia lead to blindness? The higher the myopia, the higher the probability of sight-threatening complications like glaucoma, cataracts and retinal detachment may occur. A detached retina is a very serious threat to a person’s vision, and a recent study concluded that more than half of all retinal detachments are attributable to myopia, not injury.
What causes myopia?
Heredity, too much time spent on computers and cell phones, lack of sunlight exposure, and poor eye teaming and focusing. Children who spend more than 7 hours a week using computers and mobile video games triple their risk for myopia!
When should my child start myopia control?
As soon as possible! The younger the child develops myopia, the worse the myopia may become. Once myopia starts, it’s irreversible. So be proactive and start myopia control for your child today. Single vision eyeglasses and contact lenses do not slow down the progression of myopia.
In addition, if your child decides to have laser eye surgery to correct their myopia later in life, a lower prescription means more likely to be suitable candidates and better visual outcomes after surgery.
Myopia Control Treatment Options
1. Multifocal Contact Lenses
How do Multifocal Contacts Work?Optometrists ﬁrst began using bifocal lenses to attempt to slow myopia progression in the 1940s. A more recent alternate theory suggests that myopic children who do not accommodate (focus) efficiently while reading, which constitute about 30% of myopic children, could benefit from multifocal contact lenses.
2. Orthokeratology (also called Ortho-k)
Wear specially designed contact lens-like retainers while you sleep, remove when you get up, and you can see without glasses or contact lenses! Research has proven that Ortho-K is effective at slowing progression of myopia (nearsightedness)!
3. Low-Dose Atropine
A topical drop called atropine was first suggested as a means of slowing the progression of myopia in the 1920s; however, it was rarely prescribed at full strength due to its notable side effects: light sensitivity and blurred vision while reading. Since then several studies have looked at the positive effects of atropine on myopia control while reducing the concentration and its negative side effects. Lower concentrations of atropine is effective at slowing the progression of myopia without the full strength side effects. Used nightly, low-dose Atropine eyedrops can be a first line treatment or an adjunct to other forms of myopia control.
Have you been told that your child needs glasses? Health experts estimate that almost half the U.S. population — 42% — is myopic (nearsighted), a figure that has almost doubled over the past three decades and continues to grow. But being nearsighted is more than just an inconvenience, it can pose long-term hazards.
While glasses, contact lenses, eye drops and surgery can correct the effects of myopia and allow clear distance vision, they treat the symptoms of the condition, not the thing that causes it — a slightly elongated eyeball in which the lens focuses light in front of the retina, rather than directly on it.
“When the eye becomes longer, the tissue of the retina and the structures supporting the optic nerve stretch and become thinner,” says Andrei Tkatchenko, MD, PhD, associate professor of ophthalmic sciences at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York. “This thinning increases the risk of retinal detachment, cataracts, glaucoma, and even blindness. The faster myopia progresses and the more the prescription increases, the greater the risk of these diseases.”
Children with nearsighted parents are more likely to be nearsighted themselves, and scientists have identified a lot of myopia-related genes. But genes usually work with a person’s environment to cause a disease. The top thing in the environment linked to myopia is close-up work such as reading or working on a computer or smart device. “Over the past 3 decades, the level of near work has significantly increased in most of the world,” says Tkatchenko.
Can the advance of myopia be slowed or even halted to prevent long-term complications? Tkatchenko says yes: “There is a clearly defined treatable period between ages 8 and 25 during which there is the greatest progression of myopia, and myopia control is most effective during those years.” He and other researchers are studying new methods for treating myopia. Multifocal contact lens have been found to be effective in slowing the progression of myopia in kiids. For those diagnosed with severe myopia, known as high myopia, specail contacts, worn at night can help reshape the cornea and help stablize the eye.
It’s important to make sure your child has the proper prescription for their glasses or lens becauseunder, and more importantly, over-corrected lens could actually contribute to the progression of myopia.
But there’s one simple prescription that could protect your child from getting myopia in the first place: spending time outside. “A number of studies have shown that outside activities suppress the development of myopia,” says Tkatchenko. Scientists aren’t sure why this happens, but one theory is that outdoor light stimulates the release of chemicals that signal the eye to slow its growth to a normal rate.
“Go outside and play. That’s the best thing parents can tell their children to help prevent myopia,” says Tkatchenko.
By the Numbers
66%: Percentage increase in myopia in the U.S. between the early 1970s and early 2000s.
50%: Percentage of the world’s population that will have myopia by 2050.
4 in 10: Ratio of adults in the U.S. who have myopia.
1.25: Number of daily hours of outdoor time needed to cut the chance that a child will get myopia by 50%.
Find more articles, browse back issues, and read the current issue of WebMD Magazine.
Andrei Tkatchenko, MD, PhD, associate professor of ophthalmic sciences, Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
British Journal of Ophthalmology.
National Eye Institute: “Myopia Increasing in the US Population.”
Ophthalmology: “Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050.”
We believe that the answer is YES. If children use reading glasses for reading and other close work as soon as the first signs of nearsightedness appear, nearsightedness (which is also called “myopia”) can be prevented. There is no need to sacrifice a child’s vision.
The International Myopia Prevention Association (IMPA) is an organization dedicated to helping children save their vision. This information is provided purely in the public interest. The President of IMPA is Donald Rehm, the author of “The Myopia Myth: The Truth About Nearsightedness And How To Prevent It.” He has dedicated his life to preventing myopia in children.
In 2005, we filed a Petition with the Food and Drug Administration requesting enforcement action to require eye care professionals to issue written warnings to parents that distance glasses worsen myopia in children and that prescribed reading glasses for prolonged close work including computer usage may reduce or prevent myopia. The failure to advise parents that myopia can be reduced or prevented by the use of prescribed reading glasses constitutes unlawful misbranding. The petition was denied. Click here to read the Petition.
|This site is intended for those who only want some simplified information about myopia prevention. But for those who want to know the shocking truth about greed and inhumanity in the eye care business, including corruption at the FDA and elsewhere, see Myopia.org.|
What causes nearsightedness? Nearsightedness is the condition when a person cannot see distant objects clearly without glasses. Nearsightedness is caused by focusing on close-up objects such as a book or a computer for long periods of time. The result is that the eyes get stuck in the close-up focus position and can no longer focus on distant objects.
As children spend more time on computers, watching television, or reading books, they become nearsighted, according to Ian Morgan of the Australian National University in Canberra who is quoted in the July 10, 2004 issue of New Scientist.
The epidemics of nearsightedness in countries such as Singapore and Japan are due solely to increasing amounts of focusing on close objects. According to the New Scientist article, nearsightedness is on the increase in most places, but in countries such as Singapore it has reached extraordinary levels. There, 80 per cent of 18-year-old male army recruits are nearsighted, up from 25 per cent just 30 years ago. Employers such as the police are having problems finding people who meet their requirements. There is also an increasing incidence of extreme nearsightedness, which can lead to blindness. Click here to read the full New Scientist article.
In another study, researchers at Spain’s Complutense University found that 31.3% of first-years were nearsighted. Among those four to six years older, in their final year, the rate was 49%. Research author Dr. Rafaela Garrido, who presented her findings to the 10th International Myopia Conference in Cambridge in July 2004, says: “Some students are spending too long in intensive near work with their eyes. It is also a problem with people who spend too long on a computer or using a microscope. It’s difficult to ask students to do less reading, as it is essential to passing courses, but we have to find ways to deal with the stress on the eyes.”
If we look inside the eye, we can see how this problem occurs. After focusing on close-up objects for extended periods, the focusing muscles in the eyes (which are called the “ciliary muscles”) lock up. This results in the eyes becoming more and more elongated. Nearsightedness occurs when the eyes become overly elongated. When that happens, there is no turning back. The eye cannot go back to its previous shape. The ability to see distant objects clearly without glasses is lost forever.
What can be done to prevent nearsightedness in a child? The key is to catch the problem as soon as the child experiences the very first sign of any difficulty seeing distant objects clearly such as the TV or the writing on the board at school. Ask the child from time to time if he or she can see distant objects clearly. For example, ask the child to read a distant road sign or a newspaper held up at a distance. If the child is having any difficulty at all seeing such objects clearly, that is the time to act. Don’t delay – otherwise there will be an irreversible overelongation of the eye.
Usually, eye doctors will prescribe distance glasses for correcting blurred distance vision. Unfortunately, distance glasses actually make nearsightedness worse and irreversible. This is because they force the focusing muscles to stay locked up. This in turn forces the eyes to further elongate, resulting in the need for stronger distance glasses as time goes by. The child is thus doomed to a lifetime of total reliance on distance glasses to see distant objects clearly and progressively worsening nearsightedness. Distance glasses are a false friend.
There is an alternative – reading glasses. If a child starts wearing reading glasses for prolonged periods of reading and other close work at the first sign of any difficulty with distance vision, the focusing muscles will relax and cannot lock up. Reading glasses relax the eyes. There should be no further elongation of the eye. Distant objects can be seen without the need for any glasses. It is important to note that the child will not be reliant on reading glasses. They are simply a protective tool that should be used during long periods of close work. If strong enough reading glasses are used, nearsightedness should be prevented.
The choice is distance glasses or reading glasses. Eye doctors should inform consumers about the option of using reading glasses to prevent nearsightedness, as we have recommended. If an eye doctor is not well informed about this alternative, he or she can obtain information from this website.
It is important that the reading glasses be strong enough to completely eliminate all focusing effort (accommodation) when reading. For the child who is on the verge of becoming nearsighted, “plus three” reading glasses should usually be prescribed.
Whenever close work is done without the protection of reading glasses, it is important to:
1. Hold the work as far away as possible.
2. Use as much light as possible in order to reduce the size of the pupil and, consequently, the accommodation.
3. Look into the distance frequently to relax the accommodation.
© 2005 International Myopia Prevention Association
Dr. Copeland is now certified to fit MiSight daily disposable soft contact lenses to help stop nearsightedness! MiSight 1-day contact lenses are the first and only FDA approved soft contact lens proven to slow progression of nearsightedness (myopia) in children ages 8-12. Read on to learn more about MiSight 1-day contact lenses and myopia management.
What is Myopia?
Myopia, more commonly known as nearsightedness, occurs when the eye focuses light in front of the retina instead of directly on it. Light needs to focus directly on the retina for the eye to see well. Glasses or contact lenses are worn to move the light focus back to the retina, resulting in clear vision.
What Causes Myopia?
Researchers believe both genetics and environment affect whether a person becomes nearsighted. Children with 1 myopic parent are 1.5X more likely to become myopic versus children with no myopic parents and 3X more likely with 2 myopic parents. Studies show that children who spend less than 10 hours per week outdoors are more likely to develop nearsightedness. As well as though who spend more time doing near work.
Why Be Concerned About Myopia?
The incidence of myopia in the US has risen 66% since 1971. Aside from blurry vision, myopia increases the risk of vision threatening problems later in life which is why it’s critical to stop nearsightedness. A nearsighted person is more likely to develop cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachment.
How Can Myopia Be Prevented?
As discussed above, there is no full proof way to prevent nearsightedness. Spending more time outdoors and reducing near work can help reduce a child’s risk. However, once a child is myopic, Dr. Copeland can manage the condition to help slow its progression. Below is a brief discussion of three ways Dr. Copeland can manage myopia.
MiSight Daily Disposable Soft Contact Lenses
This method uses specially designed FDA approved MiSight 1-day contact lenses to slow myopic progression. MiSight contacts are specially designed to provide both a treatment and vision zone in each lens. These two zones give the wearer clear vision and slow myopia progression. The contacts are worn during the day and thrown away after removal at days end.
Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT)
CRT, also known as orthokeratology (ortho-K), uses FDA approved custom-designed gas permeable lenses to reshape the cornea (front of the eye). The child wears the lenses at night and the cornea is reshaped during sleep. The lenses are removed after waking. The child does not need to wear glasses or contact lens for all or most of the day. Aside from allowing the child to be correction free, the reshaping also slows myopic progression.
Low Dose Atropine
This method uses 1 drop of a low concentration of the drug atropine in each of the child’s eyes daily to slow myopia progression. The child still needs to wear glasses or contacts during the day.
Interested in learning more?
Contact Innovative Eye Care at 269-870-7334 to schedule your child’s myopia consult with Dr. Copeland today!
By All About Vision
If your child has myopia (nearsightedness), you’re probably wondering if there is a cure — or at least something that can be done to slow its progression so that your child doesn’t need stronger glasses year after year. One simple, no-cost thing you can do is encourage your child to go outside and play. Research has found that children who spend a lot of time reading, texting or using other hand-held electronic devices appear to have a greater risk of becoming nearsighted.
Research also shows that spending time more time outdoors lowers the risk of childhood myopia.
What other treatments can slow the progression of myopia in your child?
3 ways to slow myopia progression
Although a cure for nearsightedness has not been discovered, your eye doctor can offer treatments that may be able to slow the progression of myopia.
These treatments can induce changes in the structure and focusing abilities of the eye to reduce stress and fatigue associated with the development and progression of nearsightedness.
Why should you be interested in myopia control? Because slowing the progression of myopia may keep your child from developing high levels of nearsightedness that have been associated with serious eye problems later in life, such as early cataracts .
Currently, three types of treatment are showing promise for controlling myopia:
Atropine eye drops
Multifocal contact lenses and eyeglasses
Here’s a summary of each of these treatments:
Atropine eye drops
Atropine eye drops have been used for myopia control for many years, with effective short-term results, but use of these eye drops also has some drawbacks.
Results of studies of atropine eye drops to control myopia progression have been impressive — at least for the first year of treatment. Four short-term studies published between 1989 and 2010 found that atropine reduced myopia progression by 81 percent in nearsighted children. However, additional research has shown that the myopia control effect from atropine does not continue after the first year of treatment, and that short-term use of atropine may not control nearsightedness significantly in the long run.
Many eye doctors, though, are reluctant to prescribe atropine for children because long-term effects of sustained use of the medication are unknown.
Other drawbacks of atropine treatment include discomfort, light sensitivity, blurred near vision, and the added expense of the child needing bifocals or progressive eyeglass lenses to be able to read clearly, since his or her near focusing ability is affected.
Orthokeratology is the use of specially designed gas permeable contact lenses that are worn during sleep to temporarily correct vision problems so glasses and contact lenses aren’t needed during waking hours.
Some eye doctors use “ortho-k” lenses to also control myopia progression in children. Evidence suggests nearsighted kids who undergo several years of orthokeratology may end up with less degree of myopia as adults, compared with children who wear eyeglasses or regular contact lenses during the peak years for myopia progression.
Kids do look cute in glasses! But with the proliferation of ortho-k and other myopia control techniques, fewer kids may need eyeglasses for myopia in the future.
Multifocal contact lenses and eyeglasses
Multifocal contacts are special lenses that have different powers in different zones of the lens to correct presbyopia, nearsightedness or farsightedness.
But researchers and eye doctors are finding that conventional or modified multifocal soft contact lenses also are effective tools for myopia control.
Multifocal eyeglasses have also been tested for myopia control in children, but results have been less impressive than those produced with multifocal contacts.
Detecting myopia early
The best way to control myopia is to detect nearsightedness early.
Even if your child does not complain of vision problems, it’s important to schedule routine eye exams for your children.
Early childhood eye exams are especially important if you or your spouse are nearsighted or your child’s older siblings have myopia or other vision problems. Heredity is a factor in myopia.
And don’t forget: Encourage your children to put down their phones and gaming consoles and go outside and play. More time outdoors seems to lessen the chances your child will develop myopia.
Lately I’ve fanatically combed the internet & this subreddit in regard to finding information about myopia. Information on myopia is scattered around because groups are fractured heavily.
Thus, I decide to write down some basic points on how to prevent your myopia from deteriorating and improve it. Keep in mind that this is information that I found helpful, it’d prefer if the mods stickied this thread in the hope of being able to write down a comprehensive guide of do’s and don’t.
At all times, carry 2 pairs of glasses. Your near-work glasses & your distance glasses
Your near-work glasses should be about 1.5 to 2 diopters less than your current prescription, this is extremely important in order to avoid overburdening your eyes for when you sit in front of a screen or book, or any other close object for extended periods of time
Always keep track of the 20/20/20 rule
Go outside with your distance glasses. Results are varied but most people report success with a reduced prescripton of 0.25 to 0.50 per eye.
Spend atleast 2 hours outside each day with sunlight if possible. So get up early and try to walk 1-2 hours before you go off to work.
Don’t look at screens or books in poorly lit rooms, always try to ensure you sit near a room with daylight or are well lit.
If reading a book, try doing it without glasses entirely
Try taking a dog if possible, this will make you outside more and is a good way of enjoying long walks.
Near-work with distance glasses. It’s bad
Eating a poor diet & lack of exercise. This might be controversial, but people over at r/carnivore and other low-carb diets report having improved their vision.
Staying up too late in the dark hours, in the dark seasons.
If there is more to add, please let me know.
How To Stop Nearsightedness From Getting Worse
Have you ever experienced a blurry and blurry vision when dusk falls? It could be, you experience night blindness, or it is called farsightedness of chickens. Not surprisingly, because the chicken in question has the disadvantage of reduced visual acuity at dusk, so this animal goes to sleep when dusk comes.
Maybe, not many people know, nor do you, that night blindness is not a disease, but a sign of another underlying disease. This means, you should not underestimate night blindness, because it could be that there is another disease attacking the body and you are not aware of it because there are no other symptoms that appear.
In addition to reduced vision when dusk arrives, this myopic chicken has difficulty seeing in dark places, such as when in a cinema.
Can Nearsightedness Be Treated With Glasses
Because it is not a specific disease, the treatment of night blindness or farsightedness of chickens is based on the underlying disease. The use of glasses, for example, can be an appropriate treatment if night blindness you experience occurs due to nearsightedness or myopia.
If you are uncomfortable or not accustomed to wearing glasses, you can consider using contact lenses according to your eye minus. Pay attention, don’t be careless when using contact lenses and make sure you know well how to care for contact lenses. Read More !
How To Stop Nearsightedness From Getting Worse
Causes Of Night Blindness
- Cataracts. This eye disease makes the eye’s lens, which should be a clear color, turns cloudy, making the vision less clear or like a fog covering it.
- Deficiency of vitamin A. Vitamin A is good for supporting eye health. Lack of vitamin A makes it easy for you to experience eye-related problems.
- Diabetes. One of the complications of untreated diabetes is a nerve disorder of the eye.
- Myopia. Nearsightedness can cause a person to experience night blindness, especially due to a decrease in the capacity of light entering the eye when dusk arrives. This can be handled using glasses.
- Glaucoma. This eye disease is often associated with excessive pressure on the eyeball, which can cause damage to the optic nerve of the eye and make vision worse over time.
Nearsightedness or myopia is a condition that many people will experience during their lifetime. The inability to focus on objects far away is sometimes a result of the natural aging process of your body which weakens your eye muscles. But, it can also be spurred by excessive screen time and not exercising your eye muscles regularly.
According to recent studies, almost half the world’s population will be myopic by 2050. That’s a lot of people! Luckily, nearsightedness can be rectified with a number of different methods.
The most common methods are glasses and contact lenses and in some cases, people even resort to eye surgery to fix the problem. However, a lot of people dismiss the idea of doing eye exercises for nearsightedness!
Remember that your eyes are a muscle and that muscles need to be worked regularly to stay in good condition. Your eyes can really benefit from doing some regular exercises. The vision drills explained in this article can be done in the comfort of your own home and will really help to improve your vision.
Just How Helpful Can Eye Exercises for Nearsightedness Be?
There are many different causes of myopia and, if it’s caused by visual fatigue, eye exercises can be very helpful for you. If myopia is either genetic or hereditary, eye exercises are going to be less effective. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that exercises won’t have any benefit for your vision.
Eye exercises can help in a few different ways:
- Increase eye function and help you focus better
- Reduce eyestrain
- Reduce sensitivity to light
- Increase or strengthen your eyes
- Help with other aspects of vision such as hand-eye coordination, depth perception, peripheral vision, etc.
Are Eye Exercises Guaranteed?
When myopia is caused or heavily influenced by genetics and not visual fatigue, the exercises won’t be completely effective. But they can help in other instances as outlined above and, in some cases, they can also help slow down the effects of myopia over time.
Your lifestyle will also play a big role in the effectiveness of exercises. If you continue to have poor visual habits, like looking at a computer screen for prolonged periods with no breaks, then the effectiveness will also be reduced.
Moreover, the amount of nutrients you are getting in your diet might also cause a diminished effect on your vision. Your eyes, just like any other part of your body will really benefit from a healthy lifestyle where you get the right amount of vitamins and minerals in your diet. If you are not getting these vitamins and minerals, then your eyesight will deteriorate much faster.
Eye Exercises for Nearsightedness
Here is a range of different exercises to combat nearsightedness. Make sure that you do these tasks every day to get the maximum benefit from them. And don’t forget, you want to complete each exercise fully before moving on to the next and you’ll also want to ensure that you can complete the entire eye regime without being interrupted.
This exercise will help you to focus on objects that are far away from you. You’ll need to stand in the middle of the room and keep your back straight. Face a picture on the wall and hold your index finger a couple of inches away from your nose. Focus on your fingertip and ensure that your eyes are fully focused before moving on to the next step.
Now you should quickly move your vision to the picture of the wall. At first the image will be distorted. Keep looking until your eyes have correctly focused on the picture. As you get better at it, increase the distance between yourself and the image.
For this exercise, you’ll need to be sitting down and you will also need a pencil. Hold the pencil about six inches away from the tip of your nose. Don’t stare at the pencil, instead quickly glance at it and then change your vision to an object which is on the opposite side of the room. Do this for a few seconds and then go back to the pencil for a few seconds.
Repeat this process 10 times and do it every day. As your eyesight starts to get better, start focusing on objects that are further away from you.
Another Pencil Exercise
Here you’ll again need to be sitting down. This time, hold the pencil away from your eyes until it gets to the point where it starts to double in your vision. Hold it just before this point. Imagine that there is a transparent tic-tac-toe board just in front of you.
Now move the pencil and touch each of the imaginary squares and bring the pencil back to the original position. As you’re moving the pencil, make sure that you track its movement with your eyes.
Again, perform this exercise at least once a day and you should start to notice a gradual improvement in your vision.
Find a comfortable chair to sit in and make sure that you sit somewhere where there are a lot of objects to look at. Maybe this could be in your living room or your garden. Now start at one side and slowly scan everything in the room. Look at each object in great detail, make sure that you outline the entire object, then move on to the next one.
For this exercise to work, you will want to look at things in a slow and steady motion. This will help you to focus on things that are both close to you and far away from you.
Benefits of Eye Exercises
If you stick to these exercises you should start to notice the benefits quite quickly. If you want to further improve you vision, you can add more eye exercises to your repertoire. Also, it’s a good idea to start taking vision-enhancing vitamins to further improve your nearsightedness. Nearsightedness may seem like an unimprovable diagnosis, but with a disciplined eye exercise regimen, you can certainly improve your vision!
Our Rebuild Your Vision Ocu-Plus Formula Contains All 17 Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbal Supplements to Improve Your Eye Health!