Over the last few months, myopia management has been a hot topic in several major news and consumer publications. This extra attention is partly due to concerns that online schooling and increased screen time will impact children’s eye health. It's also a result of the recent NIH-funded study confirming the effectiveness and importance of myopia management treatments in reducing the risk of developing sight-robbing eye diseases later in life.
Myopia occurs when the eye elongates more than normal, causing light to fall in front of the retina rather than on the retinal surface. The symptom of myopia is nearsightedness or blurry distance vision. Myopia is more than an inconvenience; rapidly progressing myopia drastically increases a child’s long-term risks of developing serious eye diseases. While most eye doctors only correct the blurred vision with prescription lenses, Treehouse Eyes doctors use myopia management to slow the progression of myopia.
Keep reading to find out why myopia management is gaining more attention and how it can help preserve your child’s eye health and vision.
What Are People Saying About Myopia Management?
If this is the first time you’re hearing the term “myopia management” you may be wondering what it is. In this June 2020 article, The Wall Street Journal recounts the experience of Raghu Parthasarathi, a father from Maryland, who calls the myopia management program “a godsend” after he witnessed the positive outcome following the treatment of his 11-year-old daughter’s rapidly progressing myopia.
But how is this “godsend” really impacting children’s visual health? In a Women Fitness article, Dr. Kevin Chan, Senior Clinical Director of Treehouse Eyes, explains that myopia isn’t merely poor visual acuity that needs to be corrected. Myopia can actually lead to serious eye diseases like cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachment later in life. Fortunately, the myopia management program at Treehouse Eyes can effectively slow down the progression of myopia, thus reducing the future risks of eye diseases.
What Can Parents Do for Their Myopic Children?
In August, as part of a tribute for children's eye health and safety month, Indianapolis Fox-59 aired a short segment explaining the effects of COVID-19 restrictions on children’s vision. Although studies haven’t yet determined the exact link between increased screen time and the progression of myopia, numerous optometrists across the country are noticing a steep increase in the number of myopic children. It is estimated that a third of American children have some form of myopia, and that by 2050 about 50% of the world’s population will be myopic.
As a parent, you may find this statistic worrisome. The first step to take is to ensure that the child is evaluated by an optometrist on a yearly basis to check for changing prescription and eye health. If it is determined that the child has progressive myopia, a highly-trained and experienced Treehouse Eyes doctor will prescribe a customized myopia management program to mitigate the risks of future sight-threatening eye diseases.
Another thing parents can do is to ensure that myopic children (or those predisposed to developing it) increase the amount of time spent outdoors. “It’s well documented that lack of outdoor time actually contributes to the onset of myopia,” Dr. Chan tells WTOP News in a recent interview. He explains that “higher levels of screen time can lead to the onset of myopia and other eye-related changes, such as dry eye. Over the long run, it can lead to the onset of glaucoma, other retinal complications or cataracts.” As a general rule, children should take a brief break from screen time every 20 minutes.
Dr. Gary Gerber, a leading optometrist and co-founder of Treehouse Eyes, explained in a recent article published in EducationDive that “getting kids outside more has proven physical, mental and emotional benefits, and crucially....proven vision and eye health benefits as well.”
Treehouse Eyes Is Paving the Way In Children’s Myopia Management
We believe that the following statement from a PlanoMoms article sums it up perfectly:
“Treehouse Eyes is the first healthcare practice dedicated exclusively to treating myopic children. Children using the Treehouse Eyes patent-pending protocol, the Treehouse Vision System, show an average 78% reduction in the progression of their myopia (individual results vary).”
Our goal is to provide the highest level of care to all of our patients, using the most advanced and effective methods of myopia management. Join the growing number of parents who provide myopia management to their children by contacting us today.