Why is Myopia Management so important?
Why is it important to control how nearsighted someone becomes?
Why not just get eyeglasses with a higher and higher power?
What are the risks of becoming more nearsighted?
Is there a greater risk if a child is becoming more nearsighted more quickly?
When someone becomes myopic, the risk of:
- Glaucoma increases by 14.4 times for those who are over -8.00 Diopters.
- Cataracts increased by 3.3 times for those who are over -6.00 Diopters.
- Retinal Detachment and Myopic Maculopathy increase by 7.8 times for those who are over -8.00 Diopters.
Children are becoming more and more nearsighted at an earlier and earlier age because the visual system is not designed for the demands on the visual system, and the amount of screen time children spend on computers for both school subjects and on video games. The visual system is not designed for the amount of extensive visual pressure.
Genetics is one factor, but it is not the only factor or even the major factor.
Some questions that are important to ask are:
- Is one or both parents nearsighted?
- To what degree?
- Is neither parent nearsighted?
- How old was the child when they began to become nearsighted?
- How quickly has it progressed?
Genetics, however, isn’t the whole reason. How our system functions change our system, much as how we use our body changes our body.
Since the 1970s, the number of people with myopia has nearly doubled. By 2050, myopia (nearsightedness) will be a leading cause of permanent blindness worldwide. The number of people with myopia will be almost 5 billion.
In our office, we have observed trends as to what ages and grades in school children have had the greatest change in myopia. There is greater myopia when there is greater visual stress. There is a range of who becomes more nearsighted, how nigh in myopia they become, and how quickly the change occurs.
In our office, we have addressed Myopia Management for 30 years. We provide 7 methods to address this silent but insidious problem. Most often, doctors simply prescribe what they find in the testing and this compensates, rather than corrects the problem. It is common for parents who arrive in our office to say that they have visited eye doctors each year, and the prescription continues to increase.
We have created a “best practice” of how we can arrive at the best way to
- Reverse the nearsightedness and
- Address the long-term issue of myopia progression
Orthokeratology (Ortho-k for short) is often the best and fastest treatment. It yields the most improvement within the shortest amount of time. The improvements are often dramatic, but it must be reinforced by learning the correct way to deal with the near-point stress that is at the source of the myopia progression. That is where we are different. In addition to Orthokeratology, we have a specific program of Vision Therapy to address Myopia progression and how to learn to use the visual system in a better way so that the child does not continue to become more myopic.
Other solutions include Atropine, Special Soft Daily Disposable lenses designed specifically to attain Myopia control. Other solutions include special eyeglasses including Bifocal eyeglasses and eyeglasses prescribed for extended near use. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.
Diagnosis and Treatment workflow
The starting point is a comprehensive eye examination to determine if the eyes are healthy and normal, and the precise starting prescription. We also determine exactly what the fusional ranges are for distance and near. Fusional ranges mean how the eyes point in (converge) and point straight (diverge) at both distances, for example looking at the board in school, and at near, for example, looking at a computer screen or textbook.
The next step is the myopia management evaluation and consultation visit. We measure corneal topography to determine the precise unique shape of the cornea. Each cornea has a unique “fingerprint” and we design orthokeratology lenses based on the individual’s unique corneal shape. No two individuals have the same lenses because no two people have the same shaped cornea. There is even a different and unique shape and power for a lens for the right lens versus the left because usually, each eye is different.
We want to help parents and adult patients have a better understanding even before they visit our office. We encourage you to watch the informational videos we have created and the content on this and our other web pages.
Some doctors use an “empirical” prescription based on a conglomeration of data. Our designs are customized to the patient and therefore the outcome and results occur faster, with fewer visits, and fewer lenses.
Myopia is not a disease like diabetes or high blood pressure. There is no medication or surgery to correct this in children. Fortunately, it is not life-threatening, but it is vision-threatening. It is a visual problem that leads to an increased likelihood of Retinal Detachment, Myopic Maculopathy, Glaucoma, and cataracts. Orthokeratology is FDA approved for children and for adults. LASIK is approved only for adults and assumes that an adult’s prescription is stable. LASIK also carries the risks of dry eye and once the cornea is cut, that process can’t be reversed.
In our office, we have extensive training and years of experience, even before other doctors began to become interested in myopia management.
Myopia is increasing and so are the risks associated with increasing myopia.Our practice serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Edison, New Jersey and surrounding communities.