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It is estimated that nearly one out of ten (9.2%) American children between the ages of five and 17 suffer from myopia also known as nearsightedness.

Myopia or nearsightedness is the inability to see objects clearly at distance. The condition can worsen your eyesight and cause more serious eye disorders like glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal detachment if left untreated in childhood.

What causes myopia?

For many years, researchers have been studying how myopia develops, finding out what triggers it. It does not necessarily have to be in your family for you to have it. Over time, nearsightedness (myopia) can be caused by reading in the dark, being too close to the reading material, not spending enough time outdoors, and looking at tiny details in objects a lot.

What are the different options to slow down the progression of myopia?

By using near lenses, some of the focusing demands can be alleviated. People tend to hold things close when reading, so accommodating support lenses are recommended. However the ability to reduce progression of myopia has advanced significantly, and there are now fantastic ways to slow down progression and reduce the risks associated with higher diopter prescriptions.

Myopia management usually incorporates one or more of the following treatment options:

  • Ortho-k lenses are used to correct myopia (nearsightedness). These lenses are worn overnight to reshape the cornea in such a way that it provides clear vision throughout the day. CRT lenses also work the same way as ortho-k lenses and are used to correct myopia. Ortho-k lenses go by many different names such as orthokeratology, CRT, GVSS, and orthok.
  • One of the latest technologies we have at Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach is the MiSight lens. These lenses are the first FDA approved lenses that are proven to slow down the progression of myopia.
  • Atropine eye drops are also used, sometimes on their own and sometimes in conjunction with OrthoK or MiSight lenses.

What are common symptoms of myopia (nearsightedness)?

The following are common signs of nearsightedness:

  • Having trouble seeing objects that are far away (sometimes at night)
  • Eyes squinting
  • Eye strain
  • You have to be close to an object to see it
  • Children with nearsightedness often have to stand close to the classroom whiteboard when taking notes

What can you do at home to prevent myopia (nearsightedness)?

Following are some great tips you can follow to slow down the progression of myopia (nearsightedness):

  • Take visual breaks when you are working on a digital device, follow the 20-20-20 rule. Take a break every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Do not spend too much time in front of a screen.
  • Try to spend 2 hours per day outdoors, and if that is too much then at the very least 30 minutes outdoors everyday.
  • Make sure you are not reading in low lighting.
  • Use appropriate lighting levels when reading a book or watching tv. It is advised not to watch television in a dark room. Watching television in a dark room actually does more harm than good.

Myopia simulator

How does myopia (nearsightedness) impact your child in the classroom or while engaging in sports? Use our myopia simulator to see how your myopic child may see the world around them and better understand how that is impacting their success.

Visit a Myopia Management eye center at an Amplify EyeCare practice near you:

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