Published on June 7, 2023
Since the late 1970s, the number of people with myopia has grown by 25% and is likely to keep increasing. Experts expect the numbers will reach over four billion in the year 2050, almost half of the world's population.
The numbers become more alarming when you consider that many of the affected are school-going children and adolescents. Myopia has truly become a global concern. Perhaps, you can do something about it?
The leading cause of nearsightedness is still unknown; the rapid rise of the condition means that genetics is not the only factor. Some experts point to the proliferation of close-up tasks requiring prolonged use of near vision as the leading cause.
Myopia usually occurs due to two main changes in the eye's structure:
The eyeball elongates from front to back, pushing the retina back from the focal point of light entering the eye
Steepening of the cornea, responsible for 75% of the eye's focusing power, also changes the focal point of light entering the eye
When nearsightedness first manifests in a child, usually between six and 14 years old, it is not fully manifested. The child's eyeball has only begun to elongate, but the elongation worsens as their eyes grow. Myopia is a progressive condition that worsens until the child's eyes have reached full maturity and their vision stabilizes.
Constant squinting to see things that are a small distance away
Complaints of blurry vision
Sitting closer to the TV than usual
Frequent rubbing of the eyes
Help Prevent Myopia
According to some researchers and eye doctors, limiting your child's time in front of a computer can lower the chances of developing myopia. An excellent way to help their eyes grow better is by having them spend more time outside than indoors. Playing outdoors provides their eyes with excellent focusing exercises critical to healthy eye development.
The continuous worsening of myopia, also known as myopia progression, paved the way for the development of myopia control. The approach focuses on slowing the condition's progression until the child's vision stabilizes. Eye doctors and researchers have developed several effective strategies, with some reducing the final prescription by almost 50%.
Low-dose Atropine Eye Drops
This is the only FDA-approved and research-supported medication for slowing down myopia progression. The eye drops slow the elongation of the eye, but they do not offer any vision correction. Your child will still need to use eyeglasses or specialty contacts for better vision.
Ortho-k involves rigid gas-permeable lenses that reshape your child's cornea as they sleep, providing near-perfect vision the next day. These lenses are by far the most effective myopia control options available.
The latest entrant into myopia control strategies works by blurring the side vision to stop eyeball elongation.
For more on the growing concerns of myopia in children and what you can do, visit Dau Family Eye Care at our office in St. Johns, Florida. Call (904) 713-2020 to book an appointment today.