Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a common condition that causes blurry vision when looking at distance. 30% of the North American population has myopia and the prevalence of myopia is increasing rapidly.
Myopia occurs when the eye grows too long, preventing viewed objects from being focused directly onto the retina. Myopia can also be caused by excessive corneal curvature or by crystalline lens abnormalities. Most children have normal eyesight (a properly focused eye) around 6 years of age. At this point, some will start to develop myopia.
While we do not know conclusively why this happens, some of the latest research tells us this:
- Undercorrection of myopic prescription makes things worse – This means that wearing an eyeglass prescription for nearsightedness that is too weak can actually contribute to the progression of myopia.
- Peripheral refractive intervention may slow myopic progression – This means that by correcting hyperopic de-focus in the peripheral retina, eye development can stabilize and therefore minimize myopic development. This can be achieved through fitting of specialized multi-focal contact lenses to create this type of optical environment within the eye.
- Outdoor time can slow myopic development – Exposure to sunlight helps the body release a neurotransmitter chemical ( dopamine ) into the retina which can help regulate eye development. By controlling the growth of the eye, myopic development can be prevented.
Our doctors are well qualified to examine and treat our pediatric and adolescent patients. We evaluate emerging techniques and technologies and incorporate these into our practice so we can better manage the emerging myopia epidemic.