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Myopia Management

Can Myopia be Cured?

Can Myopia be Cured 640×350Myopia is not simply an inconvenience—it can have serious sight-threatening consequences in adulthood. And while myopia (nearsightedness) has no known cure, there are certain treatments and management strategies that can (and should) be implemented when a child has myopia.

What is Myopia?

Myopia is a common refractive error that makes it hard to see distant objects clearly. This refractive error occurs when light passing through the eye does not focus correctly on the retina at the back of the eye.

Nearsighted people see distant items as blurry, while nearby objects tend to remain clear. Although eyeglasses and standard contact lenses can correct a person’s vision, they do not cure or slow down myopia’s progression.

Myopia usually starts in childhood and tends to increase as the eyeballs rapidly grow. It can progress slowly or quickly, especially between the ages of 8 and 18, at which time it typically stabilizes.

Myopia isn’t just about having to wear corrective glasses or lenses. As myopia worsens, the child is more likely to develop serious eye diseases later in life that can result in irreversible vision loss or blindness, like cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and retinal detachment.

Treatments to Slow and Prevent Myopia Progression

While there is no cure for myopia, there are a number of treatments that can slow its progression and even halt it completely in children and young teens.

Our experts work directly with each family to create treatment plans tailored to your child’s specific needs. We thoroughly evaluate your child’s vision, prescribe the treatment most suited to them, and track their progress to ensure the best possible outcome. Follow-up visits are usually scheduled every 6-12 months to evaluate the treatment’s effectiveness.

Other ways to slow or prevent myopia

Outdoor activity and natural lighting

According to a recent study published by Ophthalmic Research (2020), children who spend more time outside (at least 14 hours per week) have lower levels of myopia (or none at all) as compared to those who spend significantly fewer hours outdoors.

Limited time on devices

Another study, published by PLOS One (2015), found a relationship between near-work activities and myopia progression. While more research is needed, various studies have found that excessive time spent on near-work activities like reading a book, using a computer and playing games on digital devices is linked to myopia. As a result, eye doctors recommend that parents keep track of and limit the amount of time their child spends on a phone or other digital devices.

If your child has myopia, book a myopia management assessment to determine whether they could benefit from this life-changing treatment. The child’s age, as well as their maturity level and lifestyle, will all play a role in determining which treatment to offer and the best time to begin myopia management.

Speak with Dr. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno, who will advise you on the best myopia management treatment options for your child’s vision and lifestyle.

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

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Roth

Q: What is progressive myopia?

  • A: Progressive myopia is nearsightedness that worsens year after year. Severe myopia, also known as high myopia, can develop as a result of this trend, which can have significant eye health consequences in late adulthood.

Q: Can myopia lead to blindness?

  • A: Myopia in childhood has been linked to serious, vision-threatening eye conditions like glaucoma and macular degeneration later in life. Furthermore, extreme myopia can progress to a stage known as degenerative myopia, which can result in significant loss of vision and even legal blindness.

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How Much Time Should My Child Spend Outdoors?

child outdoor 640The benefits of outdoor play are well known. It allows children to exercise, socialize, develop skills like problem-solving and risk-taking and lets them soak up some vitamin D.

A lesser-known benefit of outdoor play is its effect on myopia (nearsightedness). Many studies have confirmed an association between increased “sun time” and lower levels of myopia.

Below, we’ll explore why this is and recommend ways to keep your child’s eyes healthy, whether or not they are nearsighted.

Why “Sun Time” Helps Control Myopia

Some doctors theorize that children who spend time looking into the distance while outdoors prevent myopia from progressing or even developing. Others believe that the sun’s intense brightness and increased vitamin D play a role.

How Much Outdoor Time Is Recommended?

The general recommendation is that children ages 6 and up should spend 2 or more hours outdoors per day. UV rays can, however, be harmful to the eyes and skin, so it is a good idea for children to wear certified UV-blocking sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunblock lotion.

What Can Parents Do For Their Children’s Vision and Eye Health?

Encourage your children to spend time outdoors whenever possible. It is also important to follow local health guidelines pertaining to the exposure of children to sunlight. Limit their daily screen time, and offer minimal screen time (if any) to children under the age of 2.

Make sure your child takes frequent breaks whenever doing near work like homework, reading, and spending time on a digital screen. The 20-20-20 is recommended: for every 20 minutes on computer, take a 20 second break and look 20 feet into the distance.

However, the best thing you can do for a child that is becoming nearsighted (myopic) quickly, is to bring them in for a comprehensive eye examination. This is very different than a pediatricians’ or a school nurse’s vision screening. We provide parents with many myopia management treatments, all of which have been scientifically proven to reduce the progression of myopia and risk of sight-robbing eye diseases later in life.

To schedule your child’s myopia consultation, call Family Eye Care today!

Q&A

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Roth

Q: #1: What is myopia?

  • A: A: Myopia is the most common refractive condition in children and young adults. It occurs when the eye elongates, and rays of light are focused in front of the light-sensitive retina rather than directly on it. People who are nearsightedness can see at near, but distant objects appear blurred. Eyeglasses and standard contact lenses can help someone see better for a while, but they do not treat the underlying cause of myopia or slow its progression.

Q: #2: Why is myopia management important?

  • A: A: By 2050, half of the world’s population is expected to have myopia. The reason that should cause worry is because having myopia raises the risk of developing serious eye diseases later in life. Myopia management includes orthokeratology, vision therapy for myopia control, atropine ( a special eye drops), special contact lenses, or multifocal glasses. These address the underlying reason for the often rapid visual deterioration caused by myopia in children. If you’re concerned that your child’s vision is deteriorating, contact us today. We can help.

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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

 

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

Why Myopia Is Much More Than An Inconvenience

Mom Daughter Child Eye HealthFor some parents, having a nearsighted child simply means frequent visits to the optometrist and regular eyewear purchases. But the truth is that nearsightedness (myopia) is more than an inconvenient eye condition that frequently requires correction.

Taking the short-sighted approach to myopia by simply updating a child’s lens prescription every year or two doesn’t help them in the long run.

Below, we explore the connection between myopia and eye disease, and how myopia management can help your child maintain healthy eyes throughout their life.

How Can Myopia Lead To Eye Disease?

Myopia is caused by the elongation of the eyeball. When the eyeball is too long, it focuses light in front of the retina instead of directly on it, causing blurry vision.

As childhood myopia progresses, the retina (the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye) stretches and strains, making the child more prone to serious eye diseases, including macular degeneration, glaucoma, and retinal detachment, in adulthood.

Having medium to high myopia (-3.00 to -6.00) also increases a child’s chances of developing cataracts fivefold, compared to a child with little to no myopia.

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in adults around the world. Medium to high myopia makes a child 5 times more likely to develop this sight-threatening eye disease as an adult. Several studies have also shown that the higher the myopia, the greater the risk of developing glaucoma.

Retinal detachment is also heavily linked to childhood myopia. A child with low myopia (-1.00 to -3.00) is 4 times more likely to develop retinal detachment, while children with high myopia are 10 times more likely to suffer from retinal detachment.

Highly myopic children are also at a significantly greater risk of developing myopic macular degeneration — a rare condition where the retina thins so much, it begins to break down and atrophy, leading to visual impairment. This condition occurs in 10% of people with high myopia (-6.00 and higher).

The fact is that most parents aren’t aware of these risks. That’s why we’re here for any questions you or your child may have about myopia and how to slow its progression.

What Is Myopia Management?

Myopia management is an evidence-based treatment program that slows or halts the progression of myopia in children and young adults. These treatments reduce the ocular stress that contributes to the worsening of the child’s myopia.

Our optometric team will take the time to sit with you and your child to learn about their lifestyle and visual needs in order to choose the most suitable treatment.

Once a treatment plan is chosen, we will monitor your child’s myopia progression over a 6-12 month period to assess the plan’s effectiveness.

With myopia management, we bring your child’s future into focus.

To schedule your child’s myopia consultation, contact Family Eye Care today!

 

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Roth

Q: How old does my child have to be to begin myopia management?

  • A: Children as young as 8 years old can begin myopia management. In fact, children who are at risk of developing myopia or high myopia should ideally start before the age of 10 for optimal results, but it’s never too late to start! Either way, your optometrist will help determine whether your child is ready.

Q: Do children with very low myopia need myopia management?

  • A: Yes, definitely. Taking the ‘wait and see’ approach runs the risk of allowing your child’s prescription to rise as they grow older, increasing their risk of developing serious eye diseases in the long run.
Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Edison, New Jersey and surrounding communities.

 

 

Book An Appointment
Call Us 855-884-3937

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.

 

Book An Appointment
Call Us 855-884-3937

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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Book An Appointment
Call Us 855-884-3937

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!

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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.

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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