All About Myopia
Myopia, also called nearsightedness or shortsightedness, is the eye condition where objects nearby or a short distance away are clear but objects that are far away are blurred. It is caused by the eye being slightly too long.
- One can stop the eyes from becoming myopic or progression of myopia.
- Myopia is getting worse around the world, even to the point of being called an epidemic by some. In some parts of Asia, 80% of the girls in high school are myopic. In the United States, myopia has increased 66% in thirty years so that now 42% of people aged 12-54 are myopic.
- Myopic parents have more myopic children than non-myopic parents.
- People in urban environments have more myopia than rural or primitive societies.
- The amount of reading or near work a person does is not predictive of whether they will become myopic.
- People who spend more time outdoors, even if they have myopic parents and even if they read a lot, are less likely to become myopic. We don’t know why exactly – it may be the sun, it may be focusing on distant objects or some other factor.
- Spending too much time on the tablets and mobile games can accelerate the progression
- Your child needs an eye exam every year starting at age five. (Check-ups before then.) The goal is to actively start treatment within a few months of myopia starting. In general, you can slow or stop it, you can’t make it better.
- Atropine: reviews – the ATOM study. – 77% myopic progression reduction.
- Pirenzepine: approximately 50% reduction; not available easily.
- Bifocals: No slowing of myopia
- Progressive Addition Lenses(COMET study): PALs are “not clinically meaningful”
- Contact lenses (RGP): “not effective for myopia control”
- Orthokeratology: “…no evidence for long-term efficacy of orthokeratology in reducing myopia progression…A gold standard randomized controlled trial is needed ..”
- Undercorrection: makes things worse. “This means that myopes may have an abnormal mechanism for detecting the direction of optical defocus of the retinal image.”
- Part time lens wear: No effect seen. Larger study called for.
- NeuroVision: A commercial internet based system of training. Preliminary results compared to age matched normals of another study showed slowing of myopia.
- EyeRelax: “a microscope-like device”. No evidence it can retard myopia.
- Pinhole Glasses: No evidence it can retard myopia.
- Bates Method: “Bates’ anecdotal reports of improved vision have not been evaluated in trials.
Who is likely to develop myopia?
A child is more likely to develop myopia if he/she:
- has one or both parents who have myopia
- is frequently involved in near work such as reading, writing, computer work for long periods of time without a break.
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