Across the world, more people are developing myopia than ever before. Myopia, commonly called nearsightedness, is a visual condition that causes poor long-distance vision, where near objects appear clear but far-away ones are blurry. The American Academy of Ophthalmology estimates that by 2050, half of the world’s population will be living with myopia (versus only 23% today).
Pediatric Myopia Reaching Epidemic Levels
In children, the increase is even more alarming! These same studies show that the number of children developing myopia doubled from 20% in the early 1990s to 40% in 2010. And that number is expected to continue to grow.
Many experts agree that the rising rates of pediatric myopia are most likely due to lifestyle shift trends. We are seeing that increased screen time for both leisure and instructional time and not spending enough time outdoors (causing a deficiency in natural sunlight exposure) are playing a significant role in the development of myopia in children.
Many parents are concerned about their children becoming more nearsighted as they are increasingly using more digital devices for both instructional and leisure time. The worsening of nearsightedness over time is called Myopic Progression.
Meet Our Pediatric Myopia Management Specialist
At Collins Vision, we are passionate about partnering with families to slow the progression of this vision-stealing condition in children. Why is it so important to stop myopic progression in children? A couple of reasons. As vision declines, your child will become increasingly dependent on corrective eyewear like glasses and contacts. Additionally, poor vision can affect academic performance, participation in sports and other activities. And progressive myopia can lead to eye health issues in the future, including an increased risk for cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment and myopic macular degeneration.
At Collins Vision, we are proud to be on the leading edge of treatment for Myopic Progression. Myopia Control is a type of therapy we offer our pediatric patients who are becoming more and more nearsighted at each eye exam. Dr. Dan Jefferies has special interest and training in this area.
We offer two approaches to dealing with progressive myopia in children:
ATROPINE EYE DROPS
Atropine eye drops are proven to be effective in slowing myopic progression in children. This simple treatment consists of an eye drop applied daily at bedtime for one year. That’s it! Dr. Jefferies will see your child every three months to monitor for any changes.
MISIGHT 1-DAY CONTACT LENS
This easy-to-use, single-use soft contact lens is clinically proven to slow the progression of myopia when initially prescribed for children between the ages of 8 to 12 years old. In fact, the MiSight contact lens reduced myopia progression by 59% over three years compared to a single-use contact lens that only corrects vision!
How to Know if Your Child Has Myopia
If your child exhibits any of the following signs and symptoms related to myopia, we would love to see them for a comprehensive eye exam:
• Sitting too close to the TV
• Squinting or closing one eye to read
• Holding books or electronic devices close to the face
• Needing to sit up close in the classroom
• Rubbing eyes
• Frequent headaches
See the Difference We Can Make in Your Child’s Vision
At Collins Vision, we are all about family…and that includes yours! Don’t leave your child’s vision to chance. Partner with us by scheduling your child’s eye exam today, and See the Difference we can make in your child’s developing vision.