Myopia, commonly known as nearsightedness, is a common refractive condition affecting children and adults worldwide. It occurs when the eye shape causes light to refract or bend incorrectly. When someone has myopia, far objects appear blurry. Studies show this vision condition is accelerating among children. Increased screen time and less time spent outdoors can lead to early onset and faster progression of myopia.
Myopia usually develops in childhood or early adolescence, and in most cases, it stabilizes in early adulthood. The condition tends to be genetic. Besides affecting vision, high myopia will increase the risk of developing serious eye diseases later in life. No amount of myopia is safe!
Conditions associated with high myopia include glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal disease. A comprehensive eye exam will help to confirm a diagnosis of myopia. Visual treatment options include eyeglasses, contact lenses, and refractive surgery, but these options do not reduce the risk of developing myopia related eye diseases or help slow the prescription from getting worse.
Studies suggest childhood myopia rates are increasing, currently affecting 36% children of American children.1 Reduced outdoor time, prolonged near work, genetics, ethnicity, and increased screen time affect how children’s eyes develop.
Myopia prevalence is a serious public health issue that requires more attention. Research shows that failing to treat myopia will increase the risk of vision impairment, as shown below.2,3,4,5
Symptoms of nearsightedness or myopia include:
Blurry distant vision
Squinting to see clearly
Rubbing the eyes
Children with myopia tend to sit close to the classroom board or TV to see clearly. They may also seem unaware of distant people or objects. If your child shows any symptoms, schedule an appointment with a qualified eye doctor.
Corrective lenses can compensate for poor vision but do not prevent vision deterioration. Early intervention with proven treatment options can help to stop or slow myopia progression in children. More outdoor time and reduced near work can reduce the risk of myopia, which is crucial for children with a family history of myopia. Management options that have been studied to slow down myopia progression are shown below.
No amount of myopia is safe! If your child has any amount of myopia or in other words, any nearsightedness, they may be a candidate for our myopia control program to begin slowing their myopic progression.
The treatment is usually typically throughout childhood until the myopia stabilizes or has a very low risk of progressing. The timetable for treatment depends on several individual factors that your doctor may discuss with you.
Beyond Eyecare prioritizes utilizing FDA approved products that are known to be safe. We use several FDA approved products, but your doctor at Beyond Eyecare may alternatively decide that an off-label treatment has the best chance to yield the highest rate of success. If this is the case, your doctor will discuss this decision with you.
Myopia management is very well known in the eyecare community and is being actively taught in optometry schools today. With that said, there is still a lot of work to be done with educating the public and other medical professionals.
Beyond Eyecare’s doctors are known to have some of the highest success rates in the industry. Several well-known eye care providers refer their patients to us knowing this. All of our doctors are required to go through our specialized training program, receiving several certifications along the way. We have a number of recognized studies referencing the information provided on this page as well as other helpful links here.