My Child is Myopic, What Can I Do?
If your child has become myopic (nearsighted) you’re probably wondering what your options are to prevent or slow down its progression. In the past all we could do was hope at the next examination the prescription did not get any stronger. Unfortunately for many patients and parents this often involved an inevitable and steady increase in the prescription. Many parents have wondered what can I do and is there a cure? For years, eye care practitioners and researchers have been wondering the same thing. Now there is good news: A number of recent studies suggest it may indeed be possible to at least control myopia by slowing its progression during childhood and teenage years.
WHAT IS MYOPIA CONTROL?
Myopia is due to a progressive lengthening of the (axial) length of the eye. Progressive myopia is once of the most common vision problems in adults and children and it appears to be getting worse. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in the United States, the estimated prevalence of myopia in persons aged 12 to 54 years increased from 25% in 1971-1972 to 41.6% in 1999-2004. Even more staggering, approximately 75% of adults who live in urban industrialized Asian countries are myopic. Although an outright cure for myopia has not been discovered there now are a number of scientifically proven treatments to slow down its progression. These treatments can induce changes in the structure of the eye by altering the peripheral light rays and the biochemical pathways to reduce the development and progression of myopia. Why should you be interested in myopia control? Because slowing the progression of myopia may keep your child from developing high levels of myopia altering the structure of the eye which is associated with serious eye problems later in life, such as early cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment and even blindness.
Dr. Fenn offers three forms of treatment for controlling myopia: