Genetics play a large role, but it is not the only factor. If both parents are myopic, their child has a greater chance of developing myopia than if only one parent is myopic. If neither parent is myopic, this does not guarantee a child will have good vision.
Myopia is influenced by near work activity and the amount of time your child spends outdoors. Studies have shown that children who play outdoors are less likely to be myopic or have less myopia than children who stay indoors. Activities like hand held video games should be limited to 20 minutes with 3 to 5 minutes breaks, preferably outdoors.
Culture and environment play a role in the development of myopia. In certain societies and cultures, academics are placed above all other activities. In Taiwan 83% of the school age children are myopic!
Our visual system was designed to do distance tasks. What we do with our eyes today is mostly near activities: computer, video, Kindle, iPad, and the ever present cell phone. This creates a mismatch between what our eyes were developed to do and what our eyes need to do every day.
Early detection and treatment is essential to prevent vision problems from getting worse as a child grows. Studies indicate children should always have the most current prescription. Often times it requires a change more than once a year.
Myopia Control Programs
MiSight® 1 day is a daily wear, single use contact lens that has been clinically proven and FDA-approved to slow the progression of myopia (nearsightedness) when initially prescribed for children 8-12 years old.
CRT (Corneal Refractive Therapy):
CRT utilizes special shaping contact lenses to gently alter the front curvature of the first five cell layers of the eye. This lens is only worn at night, so your child does not need glasses or contacts during their waking hours. Studies have shown the resulting curvature from CRT reduces the progression of myopia by discouraging the lengthening of the eye.
Low Dose Atropine Therapy:
Atropine is an eye medication drop that is frequently used for the diagnosis of certain eye disorders and to treat crossed eyes. Studies have found it is also beneficial in the control of myopia. Some of the side effects of Atropine are light sensitivity and the need for bifocals. Low dose Atropine therapy for myopia control eliminates most of these unpleasant side effects. The drops are administered daily in each eye and your child is evaluated every few months.
Dual Focus Soft Contact Lenses:
These lenses have corrections for both distance and near objects. The design of the lens is like a donut with the center portion for distance and the outside ring for near. It is the ring of near power that helps control the area of the eye that is responsible for the progression of myopia. These lenses are worn during waking hours.
If you would like more information on myopia, please read the article by
Gary Heiting: "Myopia Control" -www.allaboutvision.com/parents/myopia.htm