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Myopia Management

Why Does Outdoor Time Delay Or Prevent Myopia?

outdoor children 640Myopia (nearsightedness) has reached epidemic proportions across the globe. As COVID comes to a close, we now understand what epidemic proportions really means.

It is more important that ever for parents to understand how myopia can impact their child’s future, and learn what actions to take in order to protect their child’s eye health in the long run.

You see, myopia isn’t simply an inconvenience. Childhood myopia raises the risk of developing problems later on in life that can cause vision loss; macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment and diabetic retinopathy.

Myopia develops as the eye elongates more than it should, causing light to focus in front of the retina instead of directly on it. As this happens, children begin to see more blurry at distance. Most doctors have simply prescribed a higher and higher prescription each year. Obviously eyeglasses don’t solve the problem. They merely compensate for it. Here is an example: if someone gains weight, they can compensate and get clothes that are larger. This doesn’t solve the problem. It compensates for it. A different way to address it is by diet and exercise to bring the weight down. Similarly, there are programs that we offer in our office that address the root cause of the problem.

As with most medical issues, Myopia is caused by a combination of factors: genetic and environmental. Some doctors have advocated more outdoor time in the sunlight.

How Does Outdoor Play Affect Myopia?

One thought is that additional time in the sun triggers a neurotransmitter (Dopamine) release in the retina. Another theory holds that outdoor time encourages a child to shift their gaze from near objects to faraway ones. Excessive near work, like staring at a digital screen, is believed to be a driving force behind the stark increase in myopic individuals today. Spending time in the sun means less time spent looking at a digital device. A third reason might be that we create Vitamin D when we are in the sun. Some studies have found that people who are nearsighted, have lower levels of Vitamin D. More research is needed to confirm this theory.

Here’s the Bottom Line

Childhood myopia increases the risk of developing sight-threatening eye diseases later in life. Parents should be proactive about their child’s eye health and do what they can to prevent myopia from developing or progressing at a rapid rate.

Even if your child doesn’t have myopia, encouraging them to play outdoors for several hours a day and being physically active, just makes sense. So go ahead and give your child a water bottle, sunscreen, a pair of sunglasses—and send them out to play! Children aged 6 and up should spend about 2 hours daily outside in the sunshine.

But sun time alone isn’t enough to ensure the best possible outcome for their eye health. A myopia management program can help give your child the best odds of healthy vision for a lifetime.

We offer several myopia management treaments: Orthokeratology, Vision Therapy, Syntonic Phototherapy, Special Soft lenses for myopia control, and Atropine. To learn more about these myopia management treatment option, schedule your child’s myopia consultation, call Family Eye Care today!

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Roth

Q: #1: What is myopia management?

  • A: Myopia management is the science-based method used to slow or halt the progression of myopia. There are several options available, and your optometrist will sit down with you and your child to discuss which treatment option is most suitable for your child’s needs.

Q: #2: Who can benefit from myopia management?

A: Myopia management treatments have been approved for children as young as 8 and can be used until early adulthood. Myopia management is great for children with low myopia but can also be effective for slowing myopia progression in kids and teens with moderate to high myopia. Contact us to find out whether your child is a candidate for myopia management.

Q: #3: What age should I bring my child in for an eye examination?

A: A child’s first eye examination should be at age 1 and then at age 3. It is much more common for a child to have a binocular problem, such as strabismus (an eye turn) or amblyopia (lazy eye) that might not be identified by even the best pediatricians. That is why seeing a Developmental Optometrist is the best type of eye doctor to see. It is rare for a child to have an eye disease, and that is why seeing a Pediatric Ophthalmologist, a doctor that specializes in eye disease and surgery, might give someone a false sense of security. Those types of eye doctors usually look at each eye individually rather than how the two eyes work together as a team.

Q: #4: How often should a child have an eye examination?

The visual system is the most important way to bring in information from the world around us. That is why a child should have an examination at age 5 and EVERY year they are in school.

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge and Edison, all throughout New Jersey.

 

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Adult Testimonial of Using Multifocal Orthokeratology for Presbyopia

We’re here with EA who’s had her multifocal Ortho K lenses for a number of weeks. Now, a multifocal simply means that we’ve changed her cornea, the front part of the eye, so that she’s able to see a body at a distance and up close. We’re going to be making a slight modification in her left. Oh, she’s a pink, phenomenal sight. And her corneas are beautiful in a right eye. And we’re going to be doing this equally in her left. What I’d like you to do please is put into your own words how has this changed your life?

Before I had the orthok. I’ve worn glasses since I was in fourth grade. I couldn’t see distance at all. So I went, I started wearing contacts in high school, so I would go get you to my glasses and my contacts. I turned 40 last year and when I turned 40, I couldn’t see a plus anymore. So I would have to either wear reading glasses with my contacts, which then it became depended on or out of the were make lists and see them off to be able to read. So having the ortho K where I seek them out in the morning and I could read and see far with nothing has been life-changing because I was going around the house with my glasses, my reading glasses, and my contacts and lose everything and give myself headaches with their reading glasses. So it was not working. So definitely changed my life.

So this kind of has given you a lot of freedom, so you can, you can drive and you can work on your computer or read or do anything that you want to be able to do at both of those distances.

Yeah.

How have you worked this in? How easy was it for you to learn how to insert and remove and clean and disinfect?

It was very easy. They showed me at the office, like took them in and out a couple of times I went home that night and I have my setup at home with my towel on my dining room table with my mirror. And it’s, it’s very, very, very easy to recommend this for other people. Yes. I have actually told people about it because they can’t believe that they’ve never heard about it. Just like myself, where I came in. I never heard about it. I would absolutely recommend

This. Great. Thank you so much for sharing. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I would just add, cause I have two children and I have genetic, I guess, eye problems in my family. For those with younger children to look into it because for myself, I had gotten Sylvia at risk for a retinal detachment, first of all. So you can get your children to wear them at a younger age. It’ll help stop that.

You’re absolutely right. And we have children as young as six that are in orthok. We’ve got patients that are in their seventies and everywhere in between. And yes, when we find a child that’s early on and starting to become more and more near-sighted ortho K is one of the best ways as a first step in starting to reshape the front part of the eye and to prevent that myopia or that nearsightedness from continuing. We call that myopia management, you can manage it. And, and most of our patients do phenomenally well and they don’t progress. They don’t get worse and yes, we can prevent things like retinal detachment and glaucoma and cataracts and myopic maculopathy. And those are changes that become more prevalent as somebody gets older. So if we can stem this as if it’s kind of like changing the washer instead of having to change the entire philosophy. Right. Great. Thanks so much for sharing.

Why Should Parents Be Concerned About Myopia Control?

Boy Trouble LearningMyopia control is a hot topic these days — and for good reason. More and more parents are providing their children who are nearsighted with myopia control treatments, in hopes of slowing down the rapid progression of this very common refractive error.

Is myopia control important? Why not just get new glasses every time your child needs a higher prescription? Is childhood myopia really that big of a deal?

Below, we’ll answer these important questions so you can make informed decisions and feel confident about your choices. If your child has myopia, contact Family Eye Care to learn more about how we can help.

Myopia Is Not Harmless

Myopia is far more than just blurry distance vision. What many don’t realize is that it can seriously impact a child’s long-term eye health.

A child with myopia is significantly more likely to develop sight-threatening diseases, such as glaucoma, cataracts, retinal detachment, and macular degeneration, later in life.

As someone become more myopic, their eyeball becomes stretched. This stretching of the retina (the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye) then causes retinal damage. Think of stretching a rubber band. It is then more likely to break. When the retina is stretched, it is more likely to cause a retinal DE-tachment or a retinal tear. Maculopathy is another problem that develops as someone becomes more myopic.

Your Child’s Lens Prescription Matters

Suppose your child’s lens prescription is -3.00D (mild to moderate myopia). Although you may think that it’s too late for myopia control at this point, research suggests otherwise.

The level of myopia a child has is directly correlated to their risk of eye disease — the higher the myopia, the greater the risk.

A child with myopia that is between -0.75D and -3.00 is more than 3 times more likely to develop retinal detachment in the future. That number triples for individuals with high myopia (-5.00 and above).

The risk of myopic maculopathy is also influenced by the level of a child’s nearsightedness. Children under -5.00 have less than a 1% chance of developing this serious eye condition, but anything above -5.00? That risk level leaps to over 253% !

Slowing down or stopping your child’s eyesight from becoming worse will greatly increase their chances of having a healthy vision in adulthood. Halting myopia as early as possible renders the best outcome.

Myopia Is On The Rise

This is the time to act. With myopia cases escalating exponentially, it’s expected that about half of the world’s population will be nearsighted by 2050, and about 10% of those individuals will have high myopia.

Offering your child myopia control now can potentially prevent them from being part of that 10% in 2050.

If your child has myopia or is at risk of developing it, we can help! To schedule your child’s myopia consultation, contact Family Eye Care today.

Q&A

Q: #1: How do I know if my child is at risk of developing myopia?

  • A: If one or both parents have myopia, a child is predisposed to becoming nearsighted. Other factors that influence myopia include excess screen time, not enough time spent in the sunlight, and being of a certain ethnicity (people of Asian or Pacific Islander descent have the highest risk).

Q: #2: What treatments are used for myopia control?

  • A: The 3 main treatments are: orthokeratology (Ortho-k) contact lenses, Vision Therapy, and multifocal contact lenses. At times we use Atropine eye drops. We can help you decide which method best suits you and your child’s eyes and lifestyle.

 

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Edison, all throughout New Jersey.

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4 Common Myopia Myths Debunked

4 Common Myopia Myths Debunked 640Myopia (nearsightedness) occurs when the eye elongates and rays of light entering the eye are focused in front of the light-sensitive retina rather than directly on it.

It’s by far the most common refractive error among children and young adults.

To help understand and learn more about what myopia means for your child’s vision, we’ve debunked 4 common myopia myths.

Myth: Myopia only develops in childhood

Fact: While it’s true that in most cases nearsightedness develops in childhood, it can also develop during one’s young adult years.

Myth: Wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses cause myopia to worsen

Fact: Prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses in no way exacerbate myopia. Optical corrections help you see comfortably and clearly. Another common misconception is that it’s better to use a weaker lens power than the one prescribed by your eye doctor. This is simply not true. By wearing a weaker lens you are contradicting the purpose of using corrective eyewear, which is to comfortably correct your vision.

Myth: Taking vitamins can cure myopia

Fact: Vitamins have been proven to slow the progression of or prevent some eye conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or cataracts. However, no vitamin has been shown to prevent or cure myopia. All vitamins and supplements should only be taken under the advice of your healthcare professional.

Myth: There is no way to slow the progression of myopia.

Fact: There are a few ways to slow down the progression of myopia:

Get more sunlight. Studies have shown that children who spend more time playing outdoors in the sunlight have slower myopia progression than children who are homebodies.

Take a break. Doing close work, such as spending an excessive amount of time looking at a digital screen, reading, and doing homework has been linked to myopia. Encouraging your child to take frequent breaks to focus on objects farther away can help. One well-known eye exercise is the 20-20-20 rule, where you take a 20-second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes.

Other options to slow myopia progression include:

  • Orthokeratology/Ortho-k. These are specialized custom-fit contact lenses shown to decrease the rate of myopia progression through the gentle reshaping of the cornea when worn overnight.
  • Multifocal lenses offer clear vision at various focal distances. Studies show that wearing multifocal soft contact lenses or multifocal eyeglasses during the day can limit the progression of myopia compared to conventional single vision glasses or contact lenses.
  • Atropine drops. 1.0% atropine eye drops applied daily in one eye over a period of 2 years has shown to significantly reduce the progression of myopia

Prevent or slow the progression of your child’s myopia with myopia management. Contact Family Eye Care to book your child’s consultation today!

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Edison, all throughout New Jersey.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Roth

Q: Can myopia be cured?

  • A: Currently, there is no cure for myopia. However, various myopia management methods can slow its progression.

Q: How much time should my child spend outdoors to reduce the risk of myopia?

  • A: Make sure your child spends at least 90 minutes a day outdoors.


Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Edison, all throughout New Jersey.

 

Book An Appointment
Call Us 855-884-3937

Does The Use of Digital Devices Cause Myopia In Children?

kid with tablet 640Myopia (nearsightedness) occurs when the eyeball grows too long, or the cornea and/or eye lens are too curved relative to the length of the eyeball. This causes objects that are at a distance, to look blurry. More than 1 out of every 3 people who live in the US have Myopia. Myopia starts in childhood.

Being nearsighted is more than just an inconvenience. Children with moderate to severe myopia are at significant risk of developing sight-threatening eye diseases later in life, such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration and retinal detachment.

The question is: is there a link between spending too much time on digital devices and myopia? The good things about computers and digital devices is that it is a learning tool, engaging our children, at least to a degree, now during COVID.. It keeps our children busy and entertained. What are the implications associated with all this screen time?

What Does the Research Show?

There is growing evidence that up-close tasks raise the risk of myopia in children. In an analysis of 27 studies on 25,000 children published in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers found that the more time children spent on near-work activities like reading, homework, writing, computer use, playing video games, and watching TV, the higher their risk of developing myopia.

The analysis found that the odds of myopia increased by 2% for every hour per week a child did near-work activities.

Some people ask: is it the computer that is doing this to my child? No. It’s how the person USES their visual system that CHANGES the visual system; over-focusing and over-converging.

Studies have found that children who spend a significant amount of time playing outdoors experience less myopia progression than children who are homebodies. Why is that? Again, the reason is how someone USES their system, CHANGES their system. Researchers theorize that looking at distant objects, such as a ball flying through the air at the far end of a sports field, and sunshine play a role in myopia prevention. Unfortunately, this statement demonstrates that those doctors don’t really understand the visual system. It is not the “outside” that is improving the system and preventing the myopia from progressing, rather, it is the fact that the child is NOT INSIDE working on the computer and over-focusing the accommodative system or over-converging the fusional system.

Some have advocated limiting the amount of time a child uses a digital screen. Realistically, that will not prevent the progression of myopia, because THAT is the way we do things now, both as children and as adults. Think about the amount of time that you spend on your computer or cell phone. It is probably significantly more than you did just 5 or 10 years ago.

To learn more about myopia or to slow its progression, contact Family Eye Care today. Dr. Roth and Dr. Tiomno will be able to help you with that.

What Are the Signs of Myopia?

  • Blurred vision: Using a digital screen for long periods of time can result in blurry vision, especially when focusing on distant objects. The most common way to address myopia in the past, and even still now, is that the doctor merely prescribes a higher and higher eyeglass power. The problem is that that does not address the underlying REASON for the myopia progression and it merely addresses the ultimate result. It addresses the “smoke” but not the “fire” that is causing the smoke.
  • Headaches: Untreated myopia can cause serious eye strain, which in turn results in headaches. Here, it is the over-focusing (accommodation) or the over-converging for long periods that is at the root cause for the headaches. Children often assume that this is normal and therefore can’t or don’t complain that this is a problem.
  • Head tilting or squinting: If you notice your child tilting their head while watching TV or squinting their eyes, it’s a sign that they are having difficulty focusing. This could be a sign of myopia. Again, here, the myopia is the result, but what most people want to address is what is the root cause for this?
  • Holding reading material too closely: Frequently children cannot verbally explain how they feel, but they can express it in a non-verbal way. If you notice your child moving closer to the TV or that they have trouble seeing the blackboard at school, this is a red flag that tells you that they are likely becoming more nearsighted.

What is myopia?

Myopia, pronounced (My-Ow-Pee-Ahh) is the medical term for nearsightedness. Nearsighted simply means that someone CAN see better at near than off at a distance. Just think of it as 2 separate words: NEAR + Sighted.

How Can I Prevent or Slow My Child’s Myopia?

Identifying myopia early can help slow its progression and prevent serious eye diseases later in life. As a parent, here is what you can do to help prevent your child from developing this eye condition:

  • Bring your child for an assessment by a Behavioral Optometrist so that doctor can identify the underlying reason for the myopia.
  • Some suggest limiting the amount of time your child spends on close work such as reading, homework, and screen time. However, as explained above, that is not realistic and not practical.
  • Good Computer-work hygiene IS important. Making sure that the computer is properly positioned and taking frequent screen breaks addresses the over-focusing problem. The 20-20-20 rule is a good thing to do: look across the room or through a window, at something 20 feet and beyond, for at least 20 seconds, every 20 minutes that you are working on the computer.
  • Encourage outdoor time of at least 90 minutes a day, preferably in the sunshine. Be sure your child wears UV protected sunglasses. Again, this is a good idea anyway, in or der to get physical activity, but those doctors that propose this, don’t usually understand that it is not the outdoors that is preventing the myopia, but rather limiting the in-door use of computer and other near work.
  • Discuss myopia management with your eye doctor to slow and potentially stop the progression of your child’s myopia.

How We Can Help Treat Myopia

If your child exhibits any myopia symptoms, schedule an eye exam with your eye doctor as soon as possible. Undetected myopia can cause many complications, whether academic, social, or emotional. Early diagnosis of myopia and other eye problems can improve your child’s performance in school, on the sports field, and can prevent serious sight-robbing eye diseases later in life.

Furthermore, if your child is diagnosed with myopia, we can help slow its progression with myopia management.

Our doctors work closely with each family and customize treatment programs for every child based on their unique needs. If you are concerned about your child’s myopia, schedule an assessment for myopia management to see if they can benefit from this life-changing treatment.

Answers to myopia include Orthokeratolgy, Vision Therapy, Special therapeutic eyeglasses, special myopia-controlling contact lenses such as MiSight and NaturalVue, Syntonic Phototherapy, and Atropine. In our office, we offer ALL of those. Some offices may offer some of those options.

To learn more about myopia management or to schedule an eye exam, contact Family Eye Care in Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Edison today!

Resources:

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Protect Your Child’s Vision; Have Them Play Outside This Winter!

child playing snow 640Healthy outdoor play, even now in the winter, can help prevent your child from becoming more nearsighted.

Below are some tips on fun outdoor activities you can do and explain why playing outside can help your child’s vision.

How Outdoor Play Impacts Myopia

Studies have shown that children who spend at least 11 hours per week outside during daylight hours have a slower rate of becoming more nearsighted (myopia progression) than children who don’t. Researchers aren’t certain as to why that happens, but we, the doctors at Family Rye Care in Old Bridge, have our own ideas as to why. Some believe that it is the sunlight and the fact that children are using their distance vision when they are outdoors. We think that it has a lot more to do with the fact that when children are outdoors, they are not looking at their devices and overworking the visual system at near.

So why would parents want to slow down their child’s myopia? The answer may surprise you.

Having myopia in childhood places the child at heightened risk for developing sight-threatening eye diseases later in life, such as Retinal Detachment, Glaucoma, Cataracts, nd Maculopathy.

3 Outdoor Activities to Do With Your Kids This Winter

Play With Snow

Whether you have a toddler or a teenager, playing in the snow is fun and something everyone can enjoy. Obviously bundle up to stay safe and warm. Send them out to build a snowman, have a snowball fight, build an igloo, or make a snow angel. Older children and teens may enjoy building a snow maze or a snow fort. This can be fun for the whole family! If you don’t have enough snow to build a snowman or castle, then play tic-tac-snow on the snow-covered ground.

Go Sledding

Sledding and tobogganing are classic winter activities that your child will love. All you need is a sled and a snowy hill — easy, right?

But before you soar down those snowy slopes, here are some guidelines that will ensure a safer sledding experience:

  • Use a sled that can be steered and has a brake
  • Protect your head with a helmet
  • Dress warmly, but leave your scarf at home, as it can get caught under the sled
  • Children under the age of 6 should always sled accompanied by an adult

Create Outdoor Art

This activity is perfect for kids who like to get a little messy. To make a colorful masterpiece on a canvas of snow, give your child a few squirt bottles filled with water and a few drops of food coloring gel. They’ll have heaps of fun squirting the colored liquid on snow or ice. They can also paint on snow using watercolors and a paintbrush.

At Family Eye Care, our goal is to help slow your child’s myopia progression and keep their eyes healthy for a lifetime.

To learn more about our myopia management program or to schedule your child’s eye exam, call us today!

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, Edison, and throughout New Jersey.

Book An Appointment
Call Us 855-884-3937

Good & Bad Gift Choices For Children With Myopia

mario luigi yoschi figures 640Gift-giving season is just around the corner! If your child has myopia (nearsightedness), you may want to consider giving a gift that supports eye health and slows myopia progression.

Why Does Myopia Progression Matter?

Many parents assume that having myopia is only a matter of blurred distance vision, but that’s not the whole story.

Children who have myopia are significantly more likely to develop sight-threatening eye diseases later in life, like glaucoma, cataracts, retinal detachment, and macular degeneration. Rapidly progressing myopia further increases the risk of eye disease later in life.

Myopia occurs when the eye elongates, and light focuses in front of the retina instead of on the retina. The exact cause of myopia is unknown, but genetics play an important role. Certain environmental factors may also have an impact.

That’s why it’s important for parents to consider how holiday gifts can affect their children’s eyes and vision.

Gifts That Won’t Help Your Child’s Myopia

The first category of items to consider eliminating from your holiday shopping list includes toys or devices with digital screens. Although the association has not been clinically proven, most optometrists agree that increased screen time has a negative impact on myopia progression.

While spending time on screens is almost inevitable during the pandemic, it’s wise to be realistic about its potential ramifications for children. Even prior to COVID-19, the number of myopic children was steadily increasing, and projected to affect 50% of the world’s population by 2050.

Another gift to rethink: eyeglasses. Tempting though it may be to purchase new glasses for your child this holiday season, it’s important to remember that new specs can only correct blurred vision; they don’t treat the underlying cause of myopia.

Better Gifts For Myopic Children

Try encouraging your myopic child to spend more time outdoors by giving them new outdoor gear. It is well documented that children who spend more time outdoors in the sunshine have a slower rate of myopia progression, so why not add a new bike, basketball, or rollerblades to your gift list?

However, the best gift you can give your child with myopia is a personalized myopia management program.

Why Myopia Management?

Myopia management is the only effective way to slow down the rate of your child’s myopia progression.

The myopia management program at Family Eye Care offers three effective and safe treatments for myopia, including Ortho-K lenses, atropine eye drops, and multifocal contact lenses.

A comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno will determine the best treatment option for your child’s eyes and lifestyle.

Consider myopia management — a gift that will help preserve your child’s precious gift of sight. Call Family Eye Care to schedule an eye exam today.

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, Edison, and throughout New Jersey.

Book An Appointment
Call Us 855-884-3937

Flattening the Curve: Ortho-K is an Answer to Battling the Myopia Epidemic

Mom Daughter Child Eye HealthYour child is likely spending more and more time on computer or digital devices. This can be overworking your child’s visual system in a way it was not intended to work. This can promote your child to become nearsighted.

Myopia (nearsightedness) is a vision epidemic that is spreading. It affects more than a quarter of the world’s population and could affect half of the population within 30 years. The reason it is important to slow myopia progression in childhood is because moderate (-3.25 to -5.00 D) and high myopia (greater than -5.00 D) increase the likelihood that you child will develop vision-threatening conditions as cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment, and myopic macular degeneration later in life.

Myopia, (nearsightedness) has traditionally been COMPENSATED for by wearing prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses. Please note that eyeglasses and contact lenses do NOT CORRECT vision. If they did, then children would NOT be getting more nearsighted each year.

When a child becomes more and more nearsighted over time, that is called progressive myopia. LASIK surgery is not approved for children because their eyes are still growing. Often parents say: “I will just wait until my child gets older and then they can have LASIK”. They say this thinking that LASIK does not have any negative consequences. The fact is that most adults that have had LASIK, ultimately need eyeglasses. LASIK makes the cornea THINNER so the person can see more clearly shortly after the surgery, but often that benefit is short-lived. LASIK cuts a perfectly healthy tissue and once it is thinner, it is more prone to then bulging out afterwards. The term for that is ECTASIA.

Why is myopia so widespread? To a small degree, it can be associated with genetics, but the larger reason is how we use our visual system. Again, eyeglasses merely compensate for how light is bent. It does not change how the eyes continue to over-focus. It is the over-focusing that produces the increase in myopia. When children spend many hours indoors, focused on a screen, that has pixels rather than print, that is a trigger for the myopia to increase. Research studies say that children who spent a significant amount of time in the sun experienced less myopia progression than children who did not. The reason is NOT that the outdoors reduces the progression, but rather, the reason is that those children are then not spending as much time looking at a screen.

How Can Ortho-K Address a Child’s Myopia Progression?

Ortho-k is an FDA approved, safe, and popular treatment option for slowing myopia’s progression. Special custom lenses are designed to create non-permanent changes in the cornea. The lenses are made of a special gas permeable material that allows oxygen to pass right through them makes them very safe. This material allows even more oxygen through and does a soft contact lens. These lenses are designed specifically for each person and are customized based on the unique shape f each person’s cornea.

Ortho-k lenses are worn at night and removed in the morning, much as a mouth retainer is worn at night and removed in the morning once someone’s teeth have been straightened after wearing braces. When the child or adult wakes up, they then remove the night retainer lens and they are able to see clearly throughout the day. More importantly, the power does not increase, especially if combined with Vision Therapy. You, or your child can see clearly, swim, and play sports without wearing contact lenses or glasses.

We at Family Eye Care in Old Bridge, NJ, take great measures to make sure that our patients, both adults and children, understand how to care for their lenses. We stress the importance of washing hands first before inserting or removing the lenses, and using only the designated solutions to clean and rinse the lenses. First and foremost, Ortho-k is safe.

Annual eye exams are extremely important so we, at Family Eye Care in Old Bridge NJ can monitor and solve small problems before they ever have a chance to become a bigger problem. Lenses are replaced every year, much as a toothbrush is replaced periodically.

Other components within myopia management include Vision Therapy, Special Soft Contact lenses (MiSight and Natural Vue) and Atropine.

Ortho-k should be considered for your child’s short- and long-term ocular health.

We, at Family Eye Care in Old Bridge NJ have treated thousands of patients, both children and adults, throughout our area in the towns of Old Bridge, Aberdeen, East Brunswick, Manalapan, Matawan, Marlboro, Monroe, Parlin. Sayreville, South Amboy, South River, Spotswood, Lawrence Harbor, Cliffwood Beach, and throughout New Jersey.

References:

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How Do I Prevent My Child’s Myopia From Becoming Worse?

child reading 640×350If you’re a parent of a child who is nearsighted, you know that myopia (nearsightedness) can sometimes be challenging. What many parents don’t know is that rapidly progressing myopia is more than just a hassle — it can harm your child’s eye health. Children with rapidly progressing myopia are far more likely to develop potentially sight-threatening eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration later in life.

Fortunately, Dr. Roth at Family Eye Care, can help slow the progression of your child’s myopia with a customized myopia management program. Understanding what causes myopia to worsen and what can be done to slow it down can help safeguard your child’s vision.

What Causes Myopia to Progress?

Both nature (genetics) and nurture (how we use the visual system) play a role in myopia development. Parents who are nearsighted, are more likely to have a child who is nearsighted.

There are many factors that produce myopia, but each person handles visual stress differently. Some factors are a visual system that over focuses, especially at near, such as when reading. Another factor is where the eyes point. If they tend to point in too much, that is also a factor. Those who avoid reading, usually don’t become as nearsighted, but in our world that is so computer and screen based, and the importance of reading and learning to advance in school and at work, that is impractical. There are answers to answer the myopia-progression question.

How Can I Prevent Myopia From Becoming Worse?

As stated above, avoidance of reading and working on computer is not a practical answer. Some doctors may advocate “time in the sunshine”. The only reason that works is because when someone is in the sun, they are usually not reading. It is not the sun that is preventing the myopia, but rather the fact that the individual is not doing near work.

How Can an Eye Doctor help with Myopia Management ?

Doctors that manage Myopia progression do more than prescribe regular compensating eyeglass lenses. There are methods that can help control its progression.

Current treatments include:

  1. visoin thearpy which address the underlying reason that the myopia is progresing
  2. Orthokeratology (“ortho-k”) special molding lenses that are worn at night while sleeping
  3. Special bifocal eyeglass
  4. Special Myopia control contact lenses
  5. Atropine

We begin with a comprehensive eye exam. Together with Dr. Roth, we can determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your child. Annual eye examinations are needed for all children, but especially for children that are progressing in myopia. Not all optometrists or ophthalmologists provide myopia management.

 

 

Dr. Roth and Dr. Tiomno, and the friendly staff at family Eye Care in Old Bridge, can answer your questions on Myopia Management. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you.

Family Eye Care in Old Bridge serves patients from Aberdeen, East Brunswick, Manalapan, Matawan, Marlboro, Monroe, Parlin. Sayreville, South Amboy, South River, Spotswood, Lawrence Harbor, Cliffwood Beach, and throughout New Jersey.

 

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Call Us 855-884-3937

Give Your Elementary School Student The Life-Changing Gift of Ortho-K

happy blonde childMyopia, or nearsightedness, is a common childhood eye condition that has serious consequences beyond just getting a new pair of eyeglasses each year.

Eyeglasses and traditional contact lenses compensate for a child that is nearsighted. most people are aware that the problem continues and usually the prescription increases each year.

Orthokeratology, sometimes known as Ortho-k, are special lenses that are worn at night. Ortho-k molding lenses have several advantages. They provide clear and stable vision without having to wear any glasses or contacts throughout the day, and in addition, they slow the progression of myopia. This is important because rapid myopia progression can lead to sight-threatening eye diseases like glaucoma and macular degeneration later in life.

What is Myopia?

Myopia is the technical term for Nearsight. Nearsight means that someone can see better at near than they can at distance.

Myopia affects more than a quarter of the world’s population, a situation many experts consider an epidemic. By 2050, that number is expected to dramatically rise to 50% of the global population.

In addition to genetics, spending most of our waking hours indoors, and staring for long periods at close-up objects like smartphones and tablets, are among myopia’s main risk factors, and may explain the rapid rise in cases.

Myopia occurs when the distant objects look blurry because the light focuses in front of the retina, rather than directly on it.

How Is Myopia Dangerous?

Mild myopia (-0.25 to -3.00 D) generally does not increase a person’s risk for eye diseases later in life. However, moderate ( -3.25 to -5.00 D) and high myopia (greater than -5.00 D) are linked to serious, vision-threatening conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment and myopic macular degeneration.

Cataracts

Cataracts cause the lens of the eye to become cloudy, rendering it difficult or even impossible to see.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma develops when eye fluid build-up increases pressure on the eye, causing irreversible damage to the optic nerve. It is the leading cause of blindness in the United States and Canada.

Retinal Detachment

The retina detaches from the layers beneath it, causing field vision loss, flashes of light, floaters, and in the worst of cases — total vision loss.

Myopic Macular Degeneration

When myopia is extremely high, it can cause the retina to stretch, leading to macular tearing and bleeding in the areas beneath the retina. This can result in irreversible vision loss and even blindness.

How Does Ortho-K Work?

Think of the retainer that someone wears at night after they have had their braces removed, in order to keep teeth straight. Ortho-k is similar to Orthodonture. Ortho-k lenses gently reshape the cornea while you sleep. Ortho-k is FDA approved for both Children and Adults. You can then see clearly during school, or an adult can see clearly to drive. You can swim and play sports without requiring prescription goggles or sports glasses. Ortho-k halts the progression of myopia. This, in turn, can diminish your child’s risk of developing any sight-threatening conditions in decades to come.

 

 

How Are Ortho-k Lenses Prescribed?

Our patients first have a comprehensive eye examination in our office and then an Ortho-k Evaluation. A topographer measures the exact shape of your cornea so we can custom design lenses for you. That enables us to obtain better results and reduces the number of visits needed.

When the lenses arrive, we will teach you how to insert, remove, and care for their ortho-k contact lenses at home. We will see you periodically to see make sure that you are attaining the outcomes we expect and if any adjustments are needed.

Ortho-k offer the ability to see clearly and it also lowers the risk of developing ocular diseases later in life.

We, at Family Eye Care in Old Bridge, see patients from the surrounding communities of Aberdeen, East Brunswick, Manalapan, Matawan, Marlboro, Monroe, Parlin. Sayreville, South Amboy, South River, Spotswood, Lawrence Harbor, Cliffwood Beach, and those throughout New Jersey.

References

Book An Appointment
Call Us 855-884-3937