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Nearsightedness is on the Rise

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is on the rise — at epidemic levels, in fact. Learn more about why this eye condition often starts in childhood, and how it can be treated beyond correction with our myopia management options!

Myopia Development

Studies have shown that there isn’t a single gene responsible for myopia. While having myopic parents does increase the likelihood of developing nearsightedness, research shows that myopia’s causes are more behavioral than genetic.

Myopia develops when the cornea is too long, which in turn creates a distorted visual input. Having blurry vision then leads to further eye growth, resulting in a continual cycle. Focusing on near objects, as so much of modern life has become, increases the chances of myopia.

The Power of Sunlight

The amount of time we spend indoors has other ramifications as well. Research confirms that unnatural eye growth resulting in myopia can be interrupted by sunlight exposure, with myopia rates four times greater in children who didn’t spend much time outdoors compared to those who were outside daily. Time spent outdoors is associated with lower myopia incidence and progression, dropping 2% for each hour spent outside per week.

A Silent, Yet Treatable Epidemic

Myopia rates have increased as more and more children are entering school, focusing on near work, and spending less time outdoors. However, myopia is treatable in children, leading to fewer vision and eye health problems down the line. The stronger your case of myopia, the greater the risk.

Myopia management options like orthokeratology, center distance multifocal contact lenses, and atropine eye drops all help ease the strain while physically turning back the effects of myopia.  Even just a few minutes a day under myopia management treatment can stop its progression. Help set your child up for future health by minimizing the risk of issues like retinal detachment with myopia management. Frequent vision checks, breaks from near work, and time spent in the sun will all go a long way to ensure healthier vision!