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Myopic (nearsighted) Children: Study shows …

A review on the epidemiology of myopia in school children worldwide

    Myopia (nearsight) has become increasingly more prevalent and it is studied by epidemiologists.  Children with early onset are at particular risk of LONG TERM complications that are associated with myopia.  As myopia progresses, it can result in high myopia and in myopic macular degeneration.  There are both genetic and environmental factors that play a role in the increasing prevalence of myopia. The aim of this recent study was to review the current literature on epidemiology and risk factors for myopia in school children (aged 6–19 years) around the world.

    PubMed and Medline were searched for the following keywords: prevalence, incidence, myopia, refractive error, risk factors, children and visual impairment. English language articles published between Jan 2013 and Mar 2019 were included in the study. Studies were critically reviewed for study methodology and robustness of data. Eighty studies were included in this literature review.

    • Myopia prevalence remains higher in Asia (60%) when compared to those in Europe (40%).
    • The rate in East Asia is (73%) and in North America it is (42%).
    • In African and South American children, the rate was considerably lower:  under 10%.

    The risk factors for myopia in schoolchildren are:

    • low outdoor time
    • near work,
    • dim light exposure,
    • the use of LED lamps for homework,
    • low sleeping hours,
    • reading distance less than 25 cm and
    • living in an urban environment.

    Low levels of outdoor activity and near work are well-established risk factors for myopia.

    The good news is that Myopia Control and Prevention can help your child who is becoming more myopic.   Treatments include:

    1. Treating the underlying cause, through Vision Therapy,
    2. Treating the outcome, through Orthokeratology (Ortho-K)
    3. Special prescribed eyeglasses
    4. Special Multifocal soft contact Lenses
    5. Atropia

    The good news even further, is that these treatments are offered  at Family eye Care in Old Bridge.   You can reach us at 1-732-679-2020.

    We frequently see patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Aberdeen, Sayreville, South River, and South Amboy.   We also see many patients who live in
    Matawan, Monroe, Marlborough, Manalapan.