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Myopia Management

How Myopia (Nearsightedness) Can Affect Your Child’s Life

How Myopia Nearsightedness Can Affect Your Child’s Life 640×350Myopia (also known as nearsightedness) is nothing short of a global epidemic. According to the World Health Organization, 27% of the world’s population has myopia, and that number is expected to rise to 50% by 2050.

Myopia almost always begins in childhood and can progress rapidly until the late teens or early twenties. Children with moderate or severe myopia are at a much greater risk of developing eye conditions that can cause vision loss and even blindness.

Fortunately, there are proven ways to slow and sometimes halt myopia’s progression during childhood, to safeguard your child’s vision for a lifetime.

What Causes Myopia?

Myopia is often inherited, but other risk factors include spending too many hours indoors engaged in ‘near work’ like reading and staring at electronic screens.

Myopia occurs when the eyeball grows longer, which causes light rays to refract incorrectly, focusing images in front of your retina instead of on your retina. This results in blurry vision.

How Myopia Can Impact Your Child

Nearsightedness can affect your child in many ways:

Difficulties at School and While Playing Sports

Sometimes parents don’t realize their child is experiencing myopia-related blurry vision until they notice a recurrence of poor grades on their report cards or tests.

Eyestrain

Trying to focus on faraway objects to see them with more clarity when they appear blurry often results in eyestrain. Yet many parents and teachers don’t realize that a child’s headaches, tired, burning, itchy eyes, blurry vision, neck and shoulder pain may be caused by myopia.

Poor Sports Performance

When you try to catch a ball, aim for a target or locate a goal post, you need to see clearly at a distance. Nearsightedness can interfere with a child’s ability to succeed on the sports field.

How Does Myopia Affect Quality of Life?

Myopia isn’t just about difficulty seeing faraway objects. Rapidly progressing myopia increases a child’s risk of developing serious eye conditions in the future. They include:

  • Glaucoma
  • Retinal detachment
  • Cataracts
  • Myopic maculopathy

What is Myopia Management?

Myopia management is the area of optometry devoted to slowing down and even halting the rapid progression of myopia in childhood. Myopia can be managed thanks to a customized treatment program provided by an eye doctor near you. The sooner a child’s myopia is managed, the lower the risk of myopia-related complications in adulthood.

To find out how myopia management can transform your child’s vision, confidence and success in life, schedule an appointment with Dr. Matthew Wang today.

Our practice serves patients from Irvine, Dana Point, Lake Forest, and Newport Beach, California and surrounding communities.
Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Matthew Wang

Q: Can Myopia Be Cured?

  • A: While there’s no cure for myopia, myopia management has been scientifically proven to slow and at times halt myopia’s progression. LASIK and other laser surgeries aren’t an option until a child with myopia reaches adulthood and their eyes have stopped growing (meaning, their eye prescription has stopped changing).

Q: What is High Myopia?

  • A: High myopia is a more severe form of regular myopia, usually above -3.00 dioptres. Children who develop high myopia often have rapidly progressing myopia that begins in early childhood and are at a higher risk of developing serious sight-threatening eye diseases later in life, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts. Myopia management can help slow or halt the rapid progression of myopia, offering the child a higher quality of life in the long term.

    Are Myopic Parents More Likely to Have Myopic Children?

    Myopic Parents 640×350If you have myopia (nearsightedness), can you pass nearsightedness on to your children? Yes, you can. Having myopic parents greatly increases a child’s risk of developing myopia.

    Due to heredity and other risk factors, myopia is reaching epidemic proportions – with more than 50% of the population expected to be myopic by 2050. That’s worrying, as having moderate to severe myopia greatly increases the risk of developing sight-threatening eye diseases like glaucoma and macular degeneration later in life.

    What Is Myopia?

    If you have myopia, distant objects will appear blurred. This happens when your cornea or eye lens is oval-shaped and excessively curved. As a result, the light entering your eye focuses images in front of your retina instead of directly on it, causing blurred vision.

    Can Myopia Be Inherited? What the Stats Say

    The answer is yes, myopia can be passed on from parents to children. There are 40 genes that influence the eye’s development and shape, and these could be responsible for nearsightedness.

    Children with one myopic parent are 1.5x more likely to develop the condition, and the risk is tripled if both parents have myopia. This makes getting a comprehensive eye exam a must for any child of nearsighted parents.

    Other risk factors include spending less than two hours a day outdoors and engaging in “near work” activities like reading and spending time on an electronic device, such as a computer or cell phone. Fortunately, there are ways to manage, slow and sometimes halt myopia progression.

    What’s Myopia Management?

    Myopia management is a systematic approach to preventing the progression of myopia. It includes lifestyle changes and treatments that help keep your child’s myopia from progressing.

    ​​We use the latest technology to ensure your child’s vision remains stable and healthy for years to come.

    Protect Your Child’s Vision With Myopia Management

    Let us help your child diminish the risk of developing ocular disease and vision loss with our effective myopia management program. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Matthew Wang at Advanced Eyecare Myopia Control Center in Irvine. We’ll use the latest technology to ensure your child’s vision remains stable and healthy for years to come.

    Our practice serves patients from Irvine, Dana Point, Lake Forest, and Newport Beach, California and surrounding communities.

    Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Matthew Wang

    Q: What are some ways I can reduce my child’s screen time?

    • A: It isn’t easy to change habits, but as a family, you can work together to reduce screen time. Try the following:- Set limits on total amount of screen time per day
      – Create routines around screen use–such as after homework and chores
      – Model healthy screen use for your child
      – Talk to your children about why it is important to limit screen time
      – Engage in physical activity and outdoor sports as a family

    Q: When Does Myopia Typically Develop?

    • A: Myopia begins in children as young as 6 and tends to progress until roughly the age of 20. The more it progresses, and the higher the prescription, the greater your child’s risk of developing potentially sight-threatening eye conditions, such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and retinal detachment later in life.

    How Safe Are Overnight Contact Lenses?

    boy in yellow zip up jacket 3771646Your optometrist recommended orthokeratology (ortho-k) treatment for your child — that is, wearing corrective lenses overnight. However, the idea of having your child wear contact lenses while they sleep may be worrisome. Can it lead to an eye infection, or scratch/ squeeze the cornea?

    A closer look into the research done on overnight ortho-k lens wear reveals the extent of any actual risk factors and how they compare to other contact lens options.

    What Are Overnight Ortho-K Lenses?

    Ortho-k lenses are custom-made contact lenses that are worn overnight to gently reshape the cornea, thus enabling clear vision the following day. Research shows that overnight ortho-k not only effectively removes the need to wear any glasses or daytime contact lenses, but can slow down the progression of myopia. Optometrists, such as , are therefore increasingly using ortho-k for myopia management as well as for patients who no longer want to wear any optical correction during the day.

    Is Your Child at a Higher Risk of Eye Infection With Ortho-K?

    An extensive study involving 1300 people at Ohio State University concluded that overnight ortho-k carries no more risk than any other type of contact lens modality.

    Hygiene plays a vital role in preventing infections with all contact lenses. During the lens fitting process, your eye care professional will provide you and your child with detailed information and guidance on how to clean and store the lenses, as well as what precautions to take. Make sure to carefully follow the instructions regarding the cleaning schedule and use only the appropriate solutions provided for the overnight lenses.

    Other Potential Risks With Orthokeratology

    Can an Ortho-k Lens Squeeze or Scratch the Cornea?

    An ortho-k lens floats on a tear film covering the eye. The reshaping is achieved by hydraulic force that is applied to the thin central part of the cornea without any tissue being squeezed or crushed.

    A corneal abrasion can occasionally occur and is usually the result of a fingernail or lens edge scratching the cornea. That said, the risk isn’t any higher with overnight lenses than with other rigid lenses.

    Do Overnight Lenses Involve a Higher Risk of Hypoxia?

    The cornea needs a regular oxygen supply. This supply is typically reduced when covered by a contact lens. Extended uninterrupted contact lens wear can cause hypoxia and swell the cornea — this applies to all contact lens modalities when worn longer than recommended.

    What is Corneal Staining?

    This is likely the most common of all contact lens complications. Corneal staining refers to the appearance of tissue disruption and other changes on the corneal surface. This may be due to a variety of causes, such as improper lens fit, foreign bodies, tear film disruption or irregularities at the edges of a contact lens.

    A corneal stain can also occur when a specific contact lens solution comes into direct contact with the cornea and the patient has a reaction to the chemicals in that solution. Research shows that children who wear ortho-k lenses are at no greater risk of corneal staining than those who wear soft contact lenses.

    What You Need to Remember When Handling Ortho-K Lenses

    • Always wash hands before inserting or removing contact lenses.
    • Make sure to strictly adhere to the cleaning and disinfection routine as instructed by your optometrist.
    • Provide your child with all the necessary assistance and support regarding the care of the lenses. Young children should not handle the lenses on their own.
    • Only use the solutions recommended by Dr. Matthew Wang. If you feel your child has an issue with any of them, please contact us.
    • Frequently replace the lens case to avoid microbial contamination and make sure you or your child do not touch the tip of the solution bottle.
    • Do not use tap water to rinse your lenses, always use saline solution.
    • Never use a soft contact lens solution for a rigid lens. These solutions are made of different liquids, each with their own guidelines and protocols.
    • If your child feels discomfort or experiences redness of the eye, contact Dr. Matthew Wang.

    How Safe Are Overnight Contact Lenses? from EyeCarePro on Vimeo.

    Overnight Ortho-K Lenses are Safe

    Orthokeratology is a safe and effective method of providing clear daytime vision and of slowing down the progression of myopia in children.

    As long as they carefully follow the instructions regarding hygiene and the handling of the lenses, there should be no reason to worry. Children mature enough to understand the importance of these instructions will also be responsible enough to adhere to them.

    Get more information regarding overnight ortho-k lenses at Advanced Eyecare Myopia Control Center. Dr. Matthew Wang will carry out an eye exam and will happily answer any questions you may have.

    Use Your Benefits in 2020 for Ortho-K

    something in my eyeDid your new year resolutions include any vision-related intentions? After all, it is the year 2020 — a year for perfect vision. This could be the right time to consider a more effective and worthwhile way to correct your or your child’s nearsightedness.

    Consider ortho-k (orthokeratology), a way to correct myopia that could give you or your child clear 20/20 vision. What’s more, it comes with certain financial advantages, as Ortho-k can be eligible for reimbursement with most health-related savings accounts.

    Why Use Your Benefits on Orthokeratology?

    Whether you have funds that rolled over from the previous year or you just started your new health savings account this year, now is the time to plan how to allocate your benefits in 2020.

    Remember, vision-related issues should never be taken lightly. An investment in vision correction pays off in numerous ways. Ortho-k provides a safe, non-surgical, non-invasive, and comfortable corrective option and lets you take advantage of your benefits.

    What is Orthokeratology?

    Orthokeratology, also known as corneal reshaping therapy, are custom-fit overnight lenses that gently mold your cornea into a shape that bends light correctly onto the retina. This allows you to have perfect vision without wearing glasses or contact lenses throughout the day.

    Ortho-k Advantages for Adults

    There are advantages to Ortho-k besides the convenience of not wearing glasses or contacts during the day. Glasses or contact lenses often don’t provide clear peripheral vision, something you will have with ortho-k. Moreover, unlike LASIK surgery, which creates a permanent change to the corneal shape and involves the risk of complications, the ortho-k treatment is safe and reversible.

    Ortho-k Advantages for Children

    For children, there is an additional benefit. Myopia usually worsens until around the age of 21, sometimes at an alarming speed. High levels of myopia, generally above -3.00 dioptres, can pose a higher risk of serious eye diseases later on in life that can lead to loss of vision.

    Research has revealed that orthokeratology can slow down the progression of myopia, thus lowering the risks of developing macular degeneration, glaucoma, retinal detachment, and cataracts.

    Which Savings Accounts Cover Orthokeratology?

    You may not have to pay entirely for orthokeratology out of your own pocket, as many Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Savings Accounts (FSA) can reimburse this kind of program. A Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) may at times also refund the ortho-k costs. Just make sure to check your specific plan, as not all plans are exactly the same.

    Use Your Benefits in 2020 to Correct Myopia With Ortho-K from EyeCarePro on Vimeo.

    Use Benefits for Family Members

    It gets even better! You can use these funds either for yourself or for someone in your family. If you have a child with progressing nearsightedness, use the benefits to help him/her get the best vision ever.

    Many parents settle for glasses or regular contact lenses as they are less expensive than special ortho-k lenses. However, with a savings account, there is no need to compromise because you get a refund. Give yourself the opportunity to make the year 2020 a year of 20/20 vision for yourself or your child.

    At Advanced Eyecare Myopia Control Center, we prescribe and fit orthokeratology lenses and provide all associated services. Contact Dr. Matthew Wang today to schedule an appointment for an eye evaluation.

    We treat patients from Irvine, Dana Point, Lake Forest, Newport Beach, and throughout California .

    What’s Worse For Your Vision: High Myopia (Nearsightedness) or Smoking?

    cigarette 110849 640While the detrimental effects of smoking on the lungs and heart are widely known, many aren’t aware that its impact on vision is just as profound. Myopia, on the other hand, is commonly viewed as a benign refractive error that simply requires correction with prescription lenses. The truth is, however, that both myopia progression and smoking increase the chances of developing serious eye diseases that can lead to vision loss.

    Here’s the good news — the risks to vision associated with smoking and myopia progression in children are potentially preventable. Just as a chain-smoker can kick the habit to improve eye health, myopia management programs offered at Advanced Eyecare Myopia Control Center can dramatically lower their child’s risk of developing serious ocular diseases later in life.

    Let’s Compare Smoking to Myopia Progression

    Cataracts

    Cataracts occur when the eye’s natural lens begins to cloud, causing hazy or blurred vision. Certain factors can contribute to the onset and severity of the condition, such as advanced age, obesity, eye injury, high myopia, and smoking. In fact, according to a recent study, smokers are 2 times more likely to develop cataracts than non-smokers.

    However, children with medium to high myopia are 5 times more likely to develop cataracts later in life than non-myopic children.

    Macular Degeneration

    Smoking is the largest controllable factor that contributes to macular degeneration. Studies show that those who smoke are 2 to 4 times more likely to develop macular degeneration than non-smokers.

    Myopic macular degeneration (MMD) is caused by a severe eye elongation and retinal stretching — such as in high myopia — which leads to a damaged macula (the small portion of the retina responsible for detailed central and color vision). The higher the myopia, the greater the risk of developing MMD.

    Retinal Detachment

    The harmful properties in cigarettes can cause uveitis — an inflammation of the uvea (the eye’s middle layer). Uveitis can lead to retinal detachment, which separates the retina from the layers beneath it. This causes field vision loss, floaters, light flashes, and in severe cases — complete vision loss. Smoking more than doubles the chances of developing this condition.

    There also is a causal relationship between myopia and retinal detachment. A child with mild myopia is 21 times more likely to develop retinal detachment, whereas a child with high myopia is 44 times more likely to suffer from this serious condition.

    Glaucoma

    Glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness in the United States and Canada, occurs when ocular fluid places pressure on the eye, damaging the optic nerve. A few risk factors for glaucoma include high blood pressure, cataracts, and diabetes — all of which are linked to smoking. By kicking the smoking habit, one significantly reduces the risks of developing this vision-robbing condition.

    Similarly, children with medium to high myopia are 5 times more likely to develop glaucoma than non-myopes.

    What’s worse for your vision? High myopia (nearsightedness) or smoking? from EyeCarePro on Vimeo.

    How Can Myopia Management Help?

    As adults, many of us take actions to maintain good health and preserve our vision, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising, and not smoking. Let’s do the same for our children. As depicted above, smoking is as dangerous for the eyes as rapidly progressing myopia.

    If your child’s prescription rapidly deteriorates, contact Advanced Eyecare Myopia Control Center for a consultation. Let us help your child diminish the risk of developing ocular disease and vision loss with our effective myopia management program.

    Dr. Matthew Wang serves patients from Irvine, Dana Point, Lake Forest, Newport Beach, and throughout California .

    References

    https://www.allaboutvision.com/smoking/

    https://www.everydayhealth.com/vision-center/the-aging-eye/tips/smoking-ups-risk-for-age-related-vision-loss.aspx

    https://www.allaboutvision.com/parents/myopia-progression.htm

    Does Your Child Have Myopia? Send Them Outside!

    Girl Smiling Grass Flower blog imageMyopia, 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 Advanced Eyecare Myopia Control Center, 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. Matthew Wang. 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 Advanced Eyecare Myopia Control Center 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.

    Advanced Eyecare Myopia Control Center provides myopia management and other treatments to patients in Irvine, Dana Point, Lake Forest, Newport Beach, and throughout California .

    REFERENCES:

    Centre for Ocular Research & Education

    National Institutes of Health

    Perfect Vision is The Perfect Gift: Ortho-K

    girl holiday gifts blog imageAs 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 Advanced Eyecare Myopia Control Center is dedicated to improving your child’s eye health. Call us with any questions you may have – we’re here for you.

    Dr. Matthew Wang provides myopia management and other services for patients in Irvine, Dana Point, Lake Forest, and Newport Beach, and throughout California .

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