Myopia, or being nearsighted, is now found in over 40% of the US population and causes blur of objects far away. Many more children and young adults are developing myopia due to less outdoor play, more computer work and constant smart phone use. Also, having one or both parents with nearsightedness is a major risk for a child developing the same problem. In addition to causing the need for glasses or contacts, nearsightedness increases the risk of retinal detachment, glaucoma and the early formation of cataracts later in life.
What can you do to prevent or slow the development of Myopia?
Less near point work and more outdoor time will help. Invisible bifocals in kid’s glasses can also reduce the near focusing stress that increases myopia over time. Certain eye drops that dilate the pupil and relax muscles inside the eye are helpful, but the side effects limit their use. Vision training or eye exercises are beneficial in some select cases as well, but making the time for such daily exercises is a struggle for most families.
More recently, a novel use of special contacts worn while sleeping can gently reshape the front of the eye, the cornea, and reduce or eliminate myopia. At the very least, it can drastically slow the rate of worsening of the condition. This safe and reversible process is called Ortho-K and is similar to using braces to realign teeth in Orthodontics. Paragon Vision Sciences was the first company to receive FDA approval for overnight use of this type of lens nearly 20 years ago, and the doctors at Accent Vision are the only Santa Fe providers certified in its use, called Corneal Refractive Therapy.
If you suspect your child may be having vision challenges, we can examine and diagnose myopia with our state-of-the art advanced technology. Contact us today to find out more and help your child see clearly again!