The myopia epidemic – is there some hope?

When optometrists open any trade magazine or journal there is always talk of the ever increasing prevalence of myopia (short-sightedness).  Now, myopia is definitely nothing new, people have been wearing glasses to correct it for years but more and more research continues to develop on a possible cause for myopia and ways to slow it down.  Anecdotally I would say that kids seem to be getting their first glasses to correct myopia at a younger age.  For years I have been telling my patients that if they are myopic then the chances of their children being myopic are very high, which we would simply attribute to genetics.  However recent thoughts and literature suggests that genetics may not be the only cause, if at all it even is the factor of cause.  Could it be the amount of time that kids spends using electronic devices these days? Could it be simply the fact that kids don’t get outside as much to play these days?  Could it be that the eyes need a certain amount of UV light / visible light during the day to prevent myopia developing?  All are valid hypotheses as to why myopia is on the rise and definitely there are exciting times ahead in the field of myopia research as the race continues to find “the” cause and “the” cure.

However after all those words we need to look at what can be done right now to slow down the progression of your myopia.  One such option is orthokeratology (Ortho-K).  Ortho-K originally was designed as an alternate method of correcting someone’s eyesight.  As an aside it has been shown to slow down the progression rate of myopia by up to 50%.  Now whilst we cannot promise that it will always work and it is not suitable for everyone, it really is one of the only options we have at our disposable that shows some promise of slowing things down.  So if you are concerned about your myopia or your child’s myopia then have a look at some of the statistics below, click on our Orthokeratology link and feel free to make an appointment to discuss some options.

2015-03-02T01:48:04+00:00