Losing Sight of Our Children?
With children spending less time outdoors & more time looking at computer screens, it is estimated that by 2050 half the world's population with be nearsighted.
Myopia is people who can't see clearly if somebody is walking towards them, they might not recognize their face because it's blurry.
It's reached epidemic proportions in Asia, but it's truly gone up significantly throughout the world, that's a serious potential public health problem.
A young baby, for example, is what we call hyperopic, which means the eyeballs are a little bit too small for the power of the optics, and it has to grow in this coordinated way in order to get things in focus.
Normally light comes in and is focused on these cells at the back of the eye. When the eye is too long the light stops short of those cells, so all you can do to fill the focal positioning gap is by putting spectacles or contact lenses on the eye. That doesn't change the fact that the eye is basically too long and is actually growing too much.
What happens when you turn and focus the lens of a camera is you're actually making the lens further from or closer to the material that absorbs light.
Young children as they develop are not going to experience prolonged constant blur all the time, but when they are looking at something up close, things in the distance are blurred, or they are looking at something far away, and things up close are blurred. As you move your eyes around from one place to another, you do all kinds of different things with your eyes and experience all kinds of different environments so the blur will vary from one moment to another.
There is a process by which the eyes will grow into focus over time, and most children born farsighted, over the first decade of their life that farsightedness diminishes, if their farsightedness diminishes too fast that's a predictor of the whether they're going to become myopic. The critical point is really about the beginning of school age when the risk is very high that the eyes are getting too long because the lens can no longer compensate for any further growth.
Children are spending more time indoors studying or watching TV may be at greater risk of developing myopia. If you're reading a screen or a book the optics are the same apart from one big difference; what you're reading is emitting light and that certainly could make a difference. The higher the myopia is the more difficult it is to prevent further progression.
If it were not for glasses, people with myopia would be profoundly disabled. The eye is responding to what it sees so to get that we have to understand what is actually in the image the eye is capturing that tells it whether to grow or not to grow.
The indoor environment is very hard the get everything focused at the same time. The outdoor environment pretty much everything is in focus at the same time.
In our visual system we have an on and off system between the eye cells that fire when the light gets brighter and the other cells fire when it gets darker. This is a typical arrangement all along our visual pathways, so it will be nice to generate stimuli that stimulate mainly the on the cell because they are releasing dopamine, and dopamine is known to inhibit eye growth. Therefore, in this case, we have the movie in the middle so they can at least watch a movie but they are still stimulated with on and off stimuli in the periphery. The focus is not the point here, what you need is stimulation of the on and off cells in the retina, because the on cells stimulate dopamine, and the off cells do not. The most important thing is for people to know how bad it can get.
Methods Of Myopia Control
Ortho K contact lenses are custom made contacts that are worn while you sleep and gently shape the eye leaving you with great vision without the aid of glasses or contacts. Ortho K is also known as GVSS or Orthokeratology and is considered the best choice for children with Myopia to reduce their risk of eye diseases as they age. Kids are particularly fond of Ortho K because they are able to be glasses/contacts free during the day which improves self esteem, vision, and reduces the risk of eye injuries.
Soft Multifocal Contacts
Soft multifocal contact lenses are becoming more and more sought after as a method of myopia control. Studies show that multi focal contacts are very effective at reducing the progression of myopia (commonly known as nearsighted or shortsighted). Contact lenses provide a great solution for ensuring your child is safe when playing sports, and studies show that children who wear contact lenses have a higher self esteem, and are accepted by their peers more than those that wear glasses. Because contacts are on the eye they provide better periphery vision than glasses.
Dr. Shane Galan has been in practice for 20 years. As a result of being one of the premier contact lens specialists in Rockville Centre, Dr. Galan has access and experience with contact lenses that other eye doctors do not currently utilize.
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