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Myopia Management

Does Your Child Have Myopia? Send Them Outside!

Girl Smiling Grass Flower 1280×480 1024×384Myopia, more commonly known as nearsightedness, is a refractive error that affects millions of adults and children worldwide. This condition occurs when a person’s eyeball is too long, or the cornea or lens has an irregular shape. A myopic eye focuses the image at the front of the retina, as opposed to directly on the retina. it is often hereditary, especially if both parents are nearsighted.

Recent studies show that the more time spent outdoors can slow the onset or progression of myopia for reasons explained below. These findings are significant, as myopia can seriously impact eye health if left untreated. At The Myopia Management Center At Family Eye Care & Vision Therapy, we’re here to answer any questions you may have and ensure that your child’s myopia is under control.

How Does Spending Time Outdoors Benefit Myopia?

By spending time outdoors, children train their eyes to focus on distant objects and relax their eyes. Just as with any other muscle in the body, the muscles in the eye need to be trained and strengthened in order to produce clear vision. Experts further suggest that moderate exposure to sunlight has a positive impact on myopia and general eye health.

A recent study was conducted by the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry and Vision Science. The study shows that children who spend 1 extra hour outdoors each week reduce their risk of developing myopia by over 14%.

In contrast, according to the National Institute of Health, children who spend a considerable amount of time indoors watching TV or playing video games are at a significantly higher risk of developing nearsightedness.

Outdoor time should be incorporated into every child’s routine, especially those at risk of developing myopia. Parents and caregivers can make being outdoors fun by playing sports, hiking new trails, enjoying picnics or barbeques, or organizing scavenger hunts.

Why Is Slowing Myopia Progression So Important?

Myopia generally worsens over time, mostly during childhood and into the adolescent years. If your child’s prescription regularly increases, this can lead to more serious complications. Myopia progression heightens the risk of developing other eye conditions and disorders, such as cataracts, glaucoma, or retinal detachment. In more severe cases, permanent vision loss — or even blindness— may occur.

This is why it is crucial to monitor your child’s condition with a yearly visit to Dr. Michael Orwasky, O.D., FCOVD. Not sure whether your child has myopia? Refer to the following list.

Signs of Myopia in Children

Children with myopia may exhibit any of the following:

  • Squinting when reading the board or watching TV
  • Lack of interest in playing sports that require distance vision
  • Positioning oneself at close proximity to the TV or screen
  • Sitting at the front of the classroom to clearly see the teacher and board
  • Holding books close to the eyes

If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms or if you’ve noticed some of these behaviors, give outdoor time a try and bring him or her in to The Myopia Management Center At Family Eye Care & Vision Therapy for a comprehensive eye exam. We offer evidence-based myopia management treatment to slow down the progression of nearsightedness, thus preventing severe vision loss later in life.

The Myopia Management Center At Family Eye Care & Vision Therapy provides myopia management and other treatments to patients in Osprey, Sarasota, Venice, Nokomis, and throughout Florida.

REFERENCES:

Centre for Ocular Research & Education

National Institutes of Health

Perfect Vision is The Perfect Gift: Ortho-K

girl holiday giftsAs the holidays approach, most of us have one thing at the top of our to-do lists: gift shopping! This holiday season, give the gift of perfect vision that will have your loved one thanking you every morning. If you or anyone in your family has myopia (nearsightedness), there is no better gift than Ortho-K lenses.

What is Ortho-K?

Orthokeratology (commonly referred to as Ortho-K, corneal reshaping contact lenses or corneal refractive treatment) is a process that uses specialized gas-permeable lenses to safely and gently reshape the cornea (the clear front surface of the eye), by having them worn overnight and removed in the morning. Doing so provides clear vision all day long without the need to wear lenses or glasses. This FDA-approved method of vision correction is suitable for children and adults, is a safer alternative to LASIK, and can be used for myopia, astigmatism, hyperopia (farsightedness), and occasionally presbyopia (farsightedness due to aging).

Give the Gift of Ortho-K

Children and adults with mild to moderate myopia or those who cannot undergo LASIK or other refractive surgeries (for a variety of reasons) are excellent candidates for Ortho-K. Believe us — they’ll be grateful for this gift!

Ortho-k is not only effective for correcting refractive errors but is also great for slowing the progression of myopia in children — rendering it a particularly meaningful gift for a child. By slowing the progression of myopia, you can greatly reduce your child’s risk of developing serious eye conditions and diseases later in life, such as cataracts, glaucoma, or retinal detachment.

While you can’t wrap this gift up in a box, with Ortho-K, your loved ones will truly SEE the difference!

The myopia management program at The Myopia Management Center At Family Eye Care & Vision Therapy is dedicated to improving your child’s eye health. Call us with any questions you may have – we’re here for you.

Dr. Michael Orwasky, O.D., FCOVD provides myopia management and other services for patients in Osprey, Sarasota, Venice, and Nokomis, and throughout Florida.

 Why a New Pair of Glasses Is NOT the Best Holiday Gift for Your Child

girl hugging her present 3154363If your child is nearsighted (myopic), it may seem like a great idea to get him or her a new pair of glasses. They will surely improve how well your child sees but, unfortunately, will do nothing to slow myopia progression. You can offer your child MUCH more than a pair of specs — something that will ensure long term vision health care and quality of life: Myopia Management.

Myopia Management is made up of several treatments designed to slow down how quickly myopia, or shortsightedness, progresses. In other words, their prescription will remain the same as they grow older. The treatments include uniquely designed multifocal contact lenses, atropine eye drops, and orthokeratology (“ortho-k”). Evidence suggests that myopia management can reduce the progression of myopia by up to 60% after two years of treatment.

What Makes Myopia Management An Excellent Gift?

Currently, myopia is among the leading causes of permanent vision loss and legal blindness.

As a child quickly develops and their nearsighted vision worsens, the child is at a higher risk of developing dangerous eye diseases later in life, such as retinal detachment, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts.

To thwart any of these sight-robbing conditions, The Myopia Management Center At Family Eye Care & Vision Therapy offers evidence-based treatment to prevent the onset or reduce the progression of myopia in our pediatric patients.

Myopia management enables your child to experience a more mild form of myopia than he or she would have otherwise had without treatment. Having mild-degree myopia means that your child’s likelihood of developing retinal detachment or macular degeneration is dramatically reduced.

So why don’t you make this holiday gift a particularly special one by protecting your child’s precious gift of sight. And the best part? It will pay off well after the holidays are over.

On behalf of Dr. Michael Orwasky, O.D., FCOVD and the staff at The Myopia Management Center At Family Eye Care & Vision Therapy in Osprey, we’d like to wish you all the best for the holiday season and the New Year!

Toddlers With Myopia: Eyewear And
Their Future

happy blue eyed childLike all refractive errors, myopia (also known as nearsightedness) is typically managed by wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses. These lenses correct the refractive error by bending (refracting) light correctly as it enters your eyes, which then sending signals to your brain so that it can process the things you see. This ultimately results in clear, sharp vision.

When it comes to children with myopia, their vision needs are different from adults. Our youngest patients have unique needs that deserve special care and attention with a gentle approach. Dr. Michael Orwasky, O.D., FCOVD treats pediatric patients from all over Osprey, Florida, giving parents relief and top-quality vision care for their little ones.

How Kids’ Myopia Impacts Their Future

Myopia is one of the most common vision problems around the world and it is on the rise. Did you know that 75% of children are diagnosed between 3 and 12 years old? Once these young kids enter school, managing their condition becomes even more critical, and the effects of their vision problems don’t always end in childhood. Often, the long-term impact of the condition isn’t obvious until later in life.

If left untreated, it can get worse over time. The kid with nearsightedness can, as an adult, develop more serious eye conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, or even retinal detachment. The US National Library of Medicine considers myopia “one of the leading causes of functional blindness in the world”.

Children’s Eyewear

With the rapid growth of myopia in children, kids are beginning to wear glasses at increasingly younger ages. The earlier myopia starts and is diagnosed, the sooner corrective lenses are likely to be recommended. Virtually every designer and eyewear company has a collection for toddlers and young children in order to fill this growing need. With the global rise of early myopia, this trend is likely to continue.

How Can I Control My Child’s Myopia?

Dad Hugging Baby GirlDespite the bleak situation, there is hope. Dr. Michael Orwasky, O.D., FCOVD has the right skills, experience, and advanced medical technology to control your child’s myopia effectively. The goal is to slow down the progression of the condition, which prevents it from getting worse.

The doctor recommends several ways to achieve this:

  • Prescription eyewear to provide visual clarity
  • Regular eye exams to check visual health and detect prescription changes
  • General monitoring of your children’s nearsightedness over time

All of this allows the doctor to stay on top of any changes to your child’s myopia, however minor they may be.

If your toddler frequently bumps into things or holds objects very close to their face, talk to us about a consultation. It may be time for eyewear to correct their blurry vision. We’ll work together to ensure your child has the best options for clearer vision.

Playing Outside Saves Kids’ Vision

Asian kids playing various sports outsideMyopia, or nearsightedness, is one of the most common refractive errors. A refractive error is what happens when light enters your eye and bends (refracts) improperly, which is usually the result of a misshapen cornea. As the light bends at an incorrect angle, it causes blurry vision.

People with myopia struggle with focusing on images from a distance, while viewing something near them remains clear. Glasses or contacts are usually worn to correct their vision. The lenses refract light correctly, which transmits the things you see to your brain so it can understand them, resulting in clear vision. However, these do not fix the vision problem itself, instead of becoming like permanent “eye-crutches” for their whole lives!”

Is Myopia Dangerous?

As a refractive error alone, myopia isn’t really a dangerous condition, but that doesn’t mean it’s without complications or concern, either. As it progresses, it can lead to a higher risk of other eye diseases like cataracts, glaucoma, or retinal detachment. For patients with more serious cases of myopia, decreased visual clarity or significant vision loss (even blindness!) can develop.

Wearing glasses or contact lenses isn’t always enough. What’s even more concerning is that high levels of myopia can show up later in life, which is why detecting it earlier is so important.

If you or a loved one is experiencing blurry vision or other symptoms of myopia, we can help. Speak to Dr. Michael Orwasky, O.D., FCOVD to schedule a personal consultation.

Myopia And Children

sad clown puppetMyopia is rising among the general population, but it seems to affect children in excessively high numbers. In fact, 1 in 10 American children between 5-17 years old have the condition, and 75% of children are diagnosed between 3 and 12 years old. Like facial features and even parts of your personality, nearsightedness is often inherited genetically. This means that if one or both parents have it, it’s likely that their child will also have it.

In school, this can be a real struggle. Reading, writing, seeing the board clearly, participating in class, doing homework, and after-school activities are a natural part of your child’s school years. Nearsightedness can negatively affect their learning and relationships with peers.

Screen Time And Higher Myopia

Did you know that increased screen time has been shown to increase the risk of myopia in children? Studies show that the more time kids spend indoors watching TV, on computer games, phones, or tablets, the higher the likelihood of developing myopia.

Why? Because when the eyes are consistently deprived of natural light, they can develop a sensitivity to it when they’re suddenly experiencing it. Think of how it feels when you’re in a dark room and someone suddenly turns the light on. Your eyes hurt and you feel momentarily blinded. The simplest way to treat this situation is by exposing the eyes to natural light on a regular basis.

Being Outdoors Can Help Manage Children’s Myopia

Kids Playing Ball OutsideNow the good news: if too much indoor time is a problem, then it’s time to send your kids outside!

Despite what you’ve heard about the dangers of too much sun, a healthy amount of natural sunlight is a good thing. The sun’s natural ultraviolet (UV) rays contain Vitamin D. In moderate doses, Vitamin D is good for you. Medical professionals believe that these rays can actually change the shape of the cornea. Since a misshapen cornea is what causes myopia, to begin with, this serves as a simple way to counterbalance its effects.

Natural light is brighter than light bulbs and lamps. Being outside can help your child’s eyes become used to natural light, balancing out the excessive time spent inside. As if this wasn’t enough, time spent outside doesn’t cost a thing. Who doesn’t like free stuff? Make the time fun by playing at a park, skateboarding, having a barbeque or picnic – the options are endless!

As parents, you want what’s best for your kids. Spending time outside, together with other treatment methods, can improve your child’s myopia.

Early diagnosis is critical for managing myopia and slowing down its progression. Contact The Myopia Management Center At Family Eye Care & Vision Therapy and let us help your children enjoy clear vision and excellent eye health.

Myopia – An Epidemic Across The Nation
(And The World)

girl wearing eyeglasses, playing baseballWhen we think of the word “epidemic”, it brings to mind visions of desolated villages in third-world countries, overflowing hospitals, and quarantines. However, there are other less deadly, but equally serious, health concerns impacting people on a global scale.

Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is one of the most common eye conditions today. It affects almost 9 and a half million American adults and 30% of the entire Canadian public. On a global scale, 11% of the worldwide population has it and the medical community predicts these numbers will continue to rise.

How Big Is The Problem?

These statistics show just how prevalent myopia currently is:

  • 300 million people have been diagnosed with myopia worldwide
  • 820,000 American adults have a degenerative form of the disease
  • 1 in 4 parents have reported having a child with the condition
  • 75% of children are diagnosed between the ages of 3 and 12
  • Loss of productivity due to myopia costs world economies $202 billion a year

Studies indicate that by 2050, myopia will impact nearly half of the global population – that’s approximately 5 billion people! Medical researchers expect the condition to increase by 40%, which means that roughly 60 million children will likely have myopia in the next few years. Individuals with high degrees of nearsightedness will reach close to 1 billion.

Due to these high numbers, which are increasing at an alarming rate, myopia is now considered an epidemic.

What Causes Myopia?

Close up of woman's eyes, with cornea transplantMyopia is a refractive error. This happens when the cornea of the eye, which is usually a round shape, instead has an irregular shape. This causes light to enter the eye and refract (bend) incorrectly, leading to blurry or cloudy vision.

Most people with myopia wear eyeglasses or contacts to correct the refractive error. The lenses refract light correctly, allowing your brain to process the images you see, resulting in clear, sharp vision. However, while these solutions enhance vision, they do not cure the condition itself.

How Serious Is It?

Myopia is about more than just blurry vision. Other symptoms include headaches, eye fatigue or eye strain. If left untreated, it can gradually lead to serious vision problems including glaucoma, early onset cataracts, macular degeneration, or even retinal detachment. The US National Library of Medicine considers myopia “one of the leading causes of functional blindness in the world”.

If you or a loved one is experiencing blurry vision or other symptoms of myopia, we can help. Speak to Dr. Michael Orwasky, O.D., FCOVD about a personal consultation.

Myopia In Children

Myopia is very common in children. In fact, nearly 1 in 10 American children (9.2%) between the ages of 5 and 17 have it. It is usually diagnosed in the early childhood years and stabilizes by their 20s. The condition is often hereditary, so a child can develop nearsightedness if one or both of their parents have it, although certain environmental factors also play a role.

Environmental Factors

There is growing concern that in today’s digital age, the amount of screen time and decreased amount of outdoor activities are contributing factors to myopia development.

Natural sunlight – in reasonable doses – is good for the eyes, due to the Vitamin D found in the sun’s natural ultraviolet (UV) rays. So, spending more time outside is a good idea. In fact, a recent study found that children who spend 1 extra hour outdoors on a weekly basis had a more than 14% decreased risk of developing myopia.

Ethnicity and gender may also play a role. Myopia is more prevalent in people of Eastern Asian descent. Women tend to be diagnosed with the condition significantly more often than men.

Stopping The Myopia Epidemic

Elderly woman with myopiaDespite the rising numbers, there is hope. Typically, myopia control involves wearing glasses or soft contact lenses to give the patient visual clarity. Other treatment options include Ortho-k lenses, rigid gas permeable contact lenses that gently reshape the cornea, and atropine therapy, prescription eye drops which dilate the pupil and relax the eye muscles. Both Ortho-k lenses and atropine drops have been shown to slow down the progression of myopia.

Early diagnosis is critical for successful treatment and slowing down the development of the condition. Contact The Myopia Management Center At Family Eye Care & Vision Therapy and let us help you enjoy improved vision and eye health.

Is Your Child Suffering From Nearsightedness?
Here’s How You Can Help

Proper vision is one of the most important elements of your child’s development. In school, sports, and other activities, the right vision skills are Child suffering from nearsightednessessential. Vision problems that are not addressed in time can cause serious consequences.

One of the most common vision problems is nearsightedness. It’s a common refractive problem that plagues children and adults of all ages, but fortunately, it’s easily treatable.

How To Spot Eye Problems In Kids

Children may not be willing to discuss any difficulty with their vision, and in most instances, they may not even be aware that they have a vision problem. It takes the close attention of teachers and parents to spot any issues. When a child starts sitting too close to the TV or finds it difficult to see the board in the classroom, they may be suffering from nearsightedness.

What You Need To Know About Nearsightedness In Children

Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, won't have any meaningful impact on the academic performance of your child if it’s detected and treated in a timely fashion. A proper eye exam can reveal if your child has myopia, and if so, eyeglasses and contact lenses can easily treat the condition.

However, the problem with myopia is that it causes your child’s vision to constantly change. The implications of this are that your child may require frequent changes to his/her prescription. Annual eye exams may not be enough. Waiting a full year before taking your child to the doctor can mean that he/she will spend months wearing the wrong glasses or lenses. This can negatively affect your child.

What Is The Best Approach To Managing The Problem?Cute smiling boy with glasses

As stated above, nearsightedness demands constant care for the right result. Annual eye exams can be helpful, but due to the fact that changes caused by myopia can occur in less than 12 months, your child may need to see an eye doctor more than once a year.

The good news is that there are ways of managing myopia. This comprehensive management system can slow down the changes to your child’s eyes and reduce the likelihood that his/her vision will change dramatically.

Act Now

If your child has myopia, myopia management is the best solution. Let us ensure that your child has the right vision to succeed.

Schedule an eye exam with our pediatric optometrist today at Family Eye Care & Vision Therapy. Our qualified optometrist will be available to perform a thorough eye exam and recommend the best solution for you and your child. An amazing experience awaits you when you visit our vision center.