Each year children visit their eye doctor to be prescribed stronger and stronger eyeglasses as their vision worsens. Sound familiar? Our treatments have been proven to slow or even stop the deterioration of vision from progressing myopia in children. Every case is unique and our doctors will customize a program for each patient. Treatments may include our Gentle Vision Shaping System (GVSS), specialty contact lenses, or prescription eye drops.
What is Myopia?
Myopia is the medical term for nearsightedness. Nearsightedness occurs when the eye grows too long, which causes light to focus in front of the retina instead of on the retina. The symptom of myopia is blurred vision that is worse in the distance.
In the early 1970s, about 25 percent of 12- to 54-year-old Americans were nearsighted. This number increased to more than 41 percent by the early 2000s. Predictions show that half of the global population could be nearsighted by the year 2050. Myopia is currently at epidemic levels and is expected to continue to get much worse.
Why Should I Be Concerned?
Myopia doesn’t just cause blurred vision. Myopia is associated with an elongation of the eyeball. It has been linked to increased risk of potentially blinding eye conditions like glaucoma, retinal detachment, macular degeneration, and cataracts later in life. For example, studies have shown that there is a two-to-three-fold increase in the risk of glaucoma development in people with myopia versus people without myopia.
What Causes Myopia?
The exact cause is not known. What we do know is that there is a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. If both parents are nearsighted, the risk of myopia development is higher. Also, today our children are spending less time outdoors and are spending much more time looking at screen-based devices (tablets, phones, TVs), both at home and at school. This not only causes them to focus up close for extended periods, but also keeps them inside. This is problematic because exposure to natural sunlight has been linked to lower levels of myopia development.
What is Myopia Control?
Recent studies have shown that there are Myopia Control treatment options proven to slow or even stop the worsening of nearsightedness in children up to 90%. Eyeglasses and contact lenses only treat the symptom of myopia, blurred vision. They don’t treat the underlying cause of the condition: an elongated eye or one that that is too curved on the front surface. These proven treatment options include using specialized vision retainers, eye drops, or specialty soft contact lenses.
GVSS, or orthokeratology, is in most cases our first-line myopia control method. These safe, custom-fitted vision retainers gently and gradually reshape the front surface of the eye to correct nearsightedness. Visit our GVSS page for more information.
Put a stop to the deterioration of your child’s eyes and give us a call to request a Myopia Control Consultation.