FAQs About Myopia

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Frequently Asked Questions About Myopia

What is Myopia?

Myopia (nearsightedness) typically begins in early childhood or early teen years and progressively worsens into the mid-20s.  It is a condition caused by the eye growing too large and becoming an elongated shape. This happens as the child grows taller.  This elongated shape causes light from objects in the distance to focus in the front of the retina, causing blurry and distorted vision. 

While glasses or regular contact lenses adjust for this blurry vision, they don’t address the underlying problem of myopia, which will continue to worsen into your child’s young adulthood.  OrthoK DOES address myopia and can slow or stop it from getting worse.

At Curts & Reed Optometry, Dr. Curts will begin with a full assessment of your child’s myopia. We will then recommend a personalized treatment plan to slow or even stop your child’s myopia from getting worse. This is what will minimize the risks to your child’s long-term vision.  Call to schedule your child’s FREE myopia consultation today.

What is Progressive Myopia?

Myopia is very often progressive, especially in kids.  This is where the distance vision continues to get worse and worse and your child needs a stronger and stronger glasses or contact lens prescription every year. Since learning is mostly visual, myopia can negatively affect your child’s ability to learn in school. Also, the amount of myopia directly correlates with the risk levels of developing vision threatening eye diseases later in your child’s life. Typically, myopia is broken down into these categories:

  • High Myopia

  • Moderate Myopia

  • Low Myopia

High, moderate and low corresponds to how far the myopia has progressed or in other words, how strong you child’s prescription is.  Therefore, the higher the amount of myopia and progression, the greater the risks to your child’s eyes and vision.

What Causes Myopia?

In the US, over 40% of the population has myopia and many of them are children.  Myopia is when the eye becomes larger than normal and is elongated. This causes the objects you see to be blurry at a distance. The exact cause of myopia is not entirely clear, although it seems to be a combination of genetics and environment.  The most common reasons children develop myopia are:

  • Minimal time spent outdoors

  • Excessive time spent using digital devices such as smartphones, tablets and computers

  • Wearing glasses that are too weak or too strong

  • Having one or both parents that have myopia

  • From Asian descent

Why Are Rates of Myopia Increasing? Is Myopia An Epidemic?

While the exact cause of myopia is not entirely known, what is certain is that rates of myopia are drastically on the rise throughout the world. The incidence of myopia in children is enough for it to be considered an epidemic.  50% of the world population is predicted to be myopic by 2050. Myopia is currently the 6th leading cause of blindness worldwide, with that figure expected to rise.

Treating Nearsightedness With Glasses Or Contact Lenses, Isn’t That Enough?

Glasses or contact lenses refocus the light on the retina to correct myopia. This is what allows someone with myopia to see more clearly. 

However, glasses or standard contacts DO NOT treat the myopia itself: the large, elongated eyeball and the risks associated with those aspects of myopia.  In fact glasses and standard contacts actually make the myopia worse.  

OrthoK DOES address the myopia.  OrthoK has been proven in studies to slow down or even stop the progression of myopia.  In turn, decreasing your child’s risk of vision threatening eye diseases in adulthood.

Call Curts & Reed Optometry to schedule your child’s FREE OrthoK consult today.

How Is Myopia Dangerous? Isn’t Myopia Just Inconvenient?

Myopia can negatively affect your child’s life by making the dependent on glass or contact lenses to see clearly.  What many people do not realize is that myopia is actually dangerous and can be vision threatening. Over recent years, the research has shown that myopia significantly increases your child’s risk of developing vision threatening eye disease as they get older. This eye diseases include: Glaucoma, Myopic Macular Degeneration, and Retinal Detachment.

  • Glaucoma and Myopia:  A child is 3 times more likely to develop glaucoma if they have moderate to high myopia.  Glaucoma is when fluid builds up inside the eye and that puts pressure on the optic nerve causing irreversible vision loss.

  • Retinal Detachment and Myopia:  Even mild amounts of myopia can be dangerous.  New research shows that moderate to high myopia significantly increases the risk of retinal detachment.  Retinal detachment is where the retina literally detaches from the back of the eye. This can cause irreversible and total loss of vision.  A child with mild myopia (-4 to -7) is 21 times more likely to develop a retinal detachment, while children with high myopia (more than -7) are 44 times more likely to develop a retinal detachment.

  • Myopic Macular Degeneration and Myopia:  Myopia cause the retina to be stretched because the eye is larger than normal.  This can cause tears and bleeding to form in the macula, causing irreversible vision loss and blindness. Children have a 44 times greater increased risk of developing macular degeneration with moderate myopia (-5 to -7). The risk increase to 126 times for children with high myopia.

Control the Progression of Your Child’s Myopia.  The greatest gift you can give your child to ensure the best quality vision for your child in adulthood.  Call Dr. Curts today for your FREE myopia consultation today.