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Myopia: A Threat to Future Generations

Many may wonder how a refractive error can pose a threat to our future generation, but it certainly can. In the past, conditions like cataracts, retinal changes, and other neurological issues were considered red alerts or dangers in eye health examinations. However, can you believe that myopia can also impact an entire generation? Parents with young children can gain insights into their child's eye growth and visual dynamics from my previous article, which can help them choose the right treatment strategies to prevent myopia in their child.

I had a patient who was 11 years old in 2021 and used to visit our hospital with an iPad. After undergoing all the necessary assessments, he was diagnosed with mild myopia of 0.5 diopters. Recently, I encountered him again at our hospital, and this time he was wearing spectacles while still using the same gadget. Despite wearing spectacles, he was diagnosed with -1.25 diopters in both eyes. Upon conducting a thorough examination, we realized that there had been no monitoring of his screen time and he hadn't undergone regular eye check-ups. When we estimated the level of myopic progression for this child over the next 10 years, it amounted to 10.50 diopters. This progression will not only organically affect his entire visual system but also have physiological implications. Just imagine the inconvenience of searching for your spectacles every morning to start your day.

"Myopia can impact an entire generation, and parents need to be aware of its potential consequences for their children's eye health."

In this case, the problem lies in constant near work and hyperopic defocus. Hyperopic defocus refers to the concept where the peripheral retina also plays a significant role in myopic progression. Generally, we use concave lenses to correct myopia, which have a single power across the entire lens. However, this single power lens can only ensure that the external image falls on the center of the retina, while the other parts of the retina still receive a blurred image due to the lack of precise power for each retinal space. This can stimulate the brain to elongate the eyeball further and increase the myopic power at the center of the retina.

Before discussing treatment options, it is essential to understand what myopia is and how it can impact the eye health of an entire generation.

Myopia can occur in children due to factors such as

- long eye and larger eyeballs

- Increased screen time or near work

- Poor exposure to sunlight

- Uncorrected/over or under corrected eye power

- Parents/grandparents with high eye power.

 Identifying these factors can help practitioners understand the root causes of progression and plan appropriate treatment strategies to control and prevent myopia.

 

Myopia is a condition that can lead to irreversible blindness and severe visual impairment. Without proper measures, it can affect the retina and the entire posterior part of the eye. If your child is diagnosed with myopic progression, they become carriers for the next generation in your family.

To prevent myopia:

- Take your child for periodic eye check-ups at an eye hospital, at least every 6 months.

- Ask the optometrist for a cycloplegic refraction if your child is a first-time spectacle user.

- Replace the spectacle lenses if the prescription changes.

- Seek help from your optometrist to choose appropriate measures to control myopic progression in your child.

Treatment strategies for children include:

Myopic control spectacles: Nowadays, lens manufacturers have developed lenses that can control myopic progression by addressing hyperopic defocus. These lenses are recommended for children who spend excessive time on screens or engaging in near work.

Increased sunlight exposure: This treatment is suitable for children who spend most of their time indoors. Sunlight helps stimulate the secretion of dopamine, a hormone that aids in preventing and controlling myopic progression.

Vision therapy: If your child has mild myopia, vision therapy can help control and prevent progression by relieving the spasm effect in the natural lens caused by constant near work. A few therapy sessions can enable your child to live without the need for spectacles or surgery.

Decrease screen time: Adapting to new technologies and reducing gadget usage can help your child steer clear of myopic progression.

 

Reference: American Optometric  Association

 

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In conclusion, it is crucial to understand the potential threat of myopia to future generations and take appropriate measures to prevent its progression. thrivi Eye Care recognizes the importance of addressing myopia and offers specialized screening services for early detection and intervention. As a trusted provider, thrivi Eye Care has partnered with renowned brands that manufacture myopia progression lenses, ensuring access to high-quality myopia control spectacles. By staying updated on the latest advancements in myopia management, thrivi Eye Care is dedicated to helping parents make informed decisions about their child's eye health. Moreover offers vision therapy for children with mild myopia. By reducing screen time and adopting responsible technology habits, parents can play an active role in preventing myopic progression in their children.

For appointment and over-a-call consultation, please contact +91 99444 89389