Myopia Management- Not as simple as glasses or contact lenses. Risks you should know.

Myopia or near-sightedness, is a reduced ability to see clearly in the distance. The more myopic, the shorter the person’s range of clear vision. Myopia most commonly starts around age 7 or 8 and progresses until high school. The rates of myopia are rapidly increasing in first-world countries around the world, likely due to the introduction of near electronic devices such as phones, tablets and video games.
Having parents that are myopic increases the risk in children. The more myopic one becomes, the more it impacts the quality of life. Not only is one’s ability to function without glasses or contact lenses compromised, but there are significant health risks for the eye when one becomes significantly myopic. The more myopic the person, the higher the risk of developing glaucoma, cataracts  and pathology in the back of the eye (retinal holes, tears and macular degeneration).
Recently it has been shown that there are ways to slow the progression of myopia in children. More outdoor time (natural sunlight) and reduced near electronics both have a slight beneficial effect. More significant myopia management with pharmacology (daily drops) or an FDA approved soft disposable contact lens can dramatically slow and reduce progression of myopia. These treatments need to be prescribed by an eye doctor with knowledge of myopia management.
For the first time in history, your eye doctor can actively reduce myopia progression which improves quality of life and lowers the risk of eye pathology. Although refractive procedures in adults can reduce or eliminate myopia, they do not reduce the ocular health risks from developing myopia in the first place. The best treatment is to reduce myopia progression in the first place with intervention in childhood. Ask your eye doctor to discuss myopia management with you and your child.

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