For years now, we have had great results working with pediatricians and parents to provide myopia control programs which slow worsening vision in children. Thanks to the launch of a daily contact lens called MiSight back in March, we can now add an FDA approved treatment to the options that are available.We are proud to be one of the only practices in Orange County certified to treat progressive myopia with MiSight®, the ONLY FDA approved option for Myopia Control. In fact, our doctors were among the first 40 doctors in the ENTIRE COUNTRY to begin to control near-sightedness in children with MiSight®. While further advancements are sure to come, this has been a major step forward for ensuring our children are able to have great vision for the rest of their lives.
There has been a trend over the past few decades of children ‘outgrowing’ their parents’ prescriptions. Given the changes that have been implemented in response to the pandemic, there are valid reasons for concern that these vision changes may be accelerated as a result. It turns out, how we use our eyes does matter.
You might ask: ‘why do I care if the prescription increases, can’t you just fix it with new glasses or contacts?’
The simple answer to that is no.
As a child becomes more near-sighted, the eye is growing too large. As a result, the tissues are stretched thinner placing them at greater risk for potentially blinding diseases like glaucoma and macular degeneration, as well as retinal tears and detachments. From a vision standpoint, think of it like pixels on a screen. The eye has a set amount of pixels, and as it becomes more near-sighted, those pixels are spread out and the resolution decreases. So while we may be able to get a highly near-sighted person to be able to see 20/20, the quality of that 20/20 line has been forever decreased since the ‘pixels’ are now spread further apart. These are the main reasons for wanting to slow down vision changes in children: long term ocular health and maintaining high quality vision.
Below are two small changes that you can make to help decrease the risk for worsening vision in your children. If you are interested in learning more about the different treatment options available, or if you want to learn more about things that can be done to decrease the risk, give our office a call to schedule a consultation with Dr. Elson.
Two changes to consider:
- Amount of time spent on near activities does matter – rule of thumb is everything in moderation. Ideally we would have a good balance of time spent outside playing and time spent inside on near activities.
- Where near activities are performed matters – generally reading a book inside at a desk provides the eye a greater stimulus to get more near-sighted than reading a book outside.