Why is Myopia a problem?
Nearsightedness (myopia) is a problem where distance vision becomes blurry, most often sometime during the early school years. This blur creates difficulties with school work and other activities such as sports where far vision is important. The common solution of wearing glasses or contact lenses is temporary as most children will get worse each year, resulting in more blur and thicker lenses. Increased levels of myopia also create increased risks for other eye diseases such as glaucoma and detached retinas. Approximately 25% of the adult population in the United States is myopic and the rate is much higher in some ethnic groups.
Is Myopia Epidemic?
The number of children that are becoming myopic (nearsighted) has been growing rapidly over the last 25 years and is expected to impair fully 50% of the world’s population by the year 2020. This rapid increase is due in part to children spending more time studying, reading and using the computer rather than playing outdoors. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) now views progressive myopia as an epidemic.
Increasing myopia causes poor vision. But more importantly, it can lead to sight threatening conditions like retinal detachments and glaucoma. The earlier a child exhibits myopia, the more likely they will progress to dangerously high levels.
What can we do to stop this myopia epidemic?
Studies have shown that Ortho-K lenses can slow myopia. Numerous published studies have documented that children wearing Ortho-K lenses experience little to no myopic progression during treatment. To learn more, visit www.okglobal.org.
Children make great Ortho-k wearers. They are highly motivated and learn how to care for their lenses quickly, even children as young as five. The lenses are placed on the eye right before bed. The mild lens sensation disappears as the eyes close for sleep, so children aren’t afraid to wear their lenses. And you have the security of knowing that you are protecting their future sight.
Because the science behind myopia development has only recently been determined, many unsupported claims of prevention or cures developed over the years. Various techniques have been advocated, varying everywhere from rubbing the eyes, staring at the sun, wearing bifocal glasses, avoiding reading and eye exercises. Some of these ideas are dangerous or blinding and all of them fail to help a great majority of those trying them. OrthoK works and it works very well. There is only one other proven technique: the use of a specific prescription eye drop called ATROPINE that paralyzes eye muscles, making the person unable to read without glasses, unable to tolerate bright light and prone to significant side effects from the drops themselves. OrthoK is the only proven, reasonable method to significantly alter the progression of myopia. Overnight treatment. Daytime freedom. We have a sister web site that talks about all the methods of myopia prevention.
Follow the above link for extensive coverage of everything from ortho-k to medications that have been used or are being used in an attempt to slow myopia.