Myopia Control in Miami
The Myopia Epidemic, And What We Can Do About It.
What is myopia? Having myopia or being nearsighted means that, without glasses, vision from far is blurry and near vision is pretty good. Someone who has a lot of myopia needs to be wearing glasses full time for daily activities.
Needing glasses is not a problem by itself. The problem is that myopia, specially high myopia is associated with some serious eye diseases that have the potential for permanent vision loss or even blindness. For instance we know that glaucoma and retinal detachments are associated with myopia.
Therefore, it is important that we control as much as we can the evolution (increase), of myopia in our children.
It is particularly a problem is Asia: "East Asia has been gripped by an unprecedented rise in myopia, also known as short-sightedness. Sixty years ago, 10–20% of the Chinese population was short-sighted. Today, up to 90% of teenagers and young adults are. In Seoul, a whopping 96.5% of 19-year-old men are short-sighted."
Right here at Home, in Miami, I see parents concerned because their children vision is changing every 6 months, a bit too often.
It is normal for myopia to get worse until the young adult age, at a slow pace. When we see big jumps in short period of time, myopia is getting worse, too fast, it is time to take action for myopia control.
Myopia has been a medical mystery for years now. We now know that several factors will participate in myopia: -Genetics: If Family members have high myopia -Environment: Light exposure, near work, screen time -Binocular Vision: some binocular vision disorders are thought to increase rate of myopia progression
In our modern world, our children spend nearly all their time upclose: in class they read books, do their homework on computers, and on their free time, play with cell phones or tablets. All those factors explain why we see more and more myopia.
The good news is that, we have treatments and recommendations available to limit myopia progression and reduce the risk of comorbidity.
Recently we started using atropine for myopia control. Several studies have shown a real benefit in controlling rate of myopia progression. Some doctors use Ortho-Keratology for myopia control.
As a general rule for proper visual hygiene, we recommend parents to reduce screen time (Tables, computers, phones...) and we recommend anyone to take "visual breaks". The commonly accepted rule is called the "20-20-20" rule. That means, that when using a screen, one should look away at 20ft, for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes. (until whatever it is you are looking at becomes clear, to relax over-accommodation)
Schedule an appointment today with your optometrist in North Miami if you are concerned about your children myopia and we will go over the best course of action for your kids' eyes.
Our office phone number is 786-500-2020, you can also make an appointment online at www.eyedrmiami.com