VSP, the nation’s largest eye care insurance company, has weighed in on the childhood myopia epidemic with an article published last week on the popular VSP Blog.

Covering more than 80 million consumers worldwide, VSP has a vested interest in the eye health of this and future generations of American youth.  In the article, the VSP journalist interviews Treehouse Eyes founder and leading optometrist Dr. Gary Gerber, OD, about the childhood myopia epidemic.

Dr. Gerber sounds the warning to parents of young children – the myopia epidemic is real and getting worse. And there’s finally something you can do about it.

Gerber gets right to the point, saying “80% of myopia starts in childhood and frequently vision deteriorates throughout the childhood years. Glasses and contact lenses compensate for myopia by providing clear vision, but do not treat the underlying condition, which is an eyeball that is growing too long.”

Gerber gets right to the point, saying “80% of myopia starts in childhood and frequently vision deteriorates throughout the childhood years. Glasses and contact lenses compensate for myopia by providing clear vision, but do not treat the underlying condition, which is an eyeball that is growing too long.”

The interviewer asks Dr. Gerber why myopia reaching epidemic levels among the current generation of children is such a big deal, health-wise, for our kids.

“We are now more concerned about myopia because we know it increases the risk of serious eye diseases. Retinal issues and glaucoma in particular can cause permanent loss of vision, even with proper care and intervention.

“Another reason to try to halt myopia’s progression is that a lower myopic eye is a better candidate for refractive surgery procedures such as LASIK. While refractive surgery is only done on adults, if we can treat a child’s myopia to keep their prescription lower they are a better candidate for refractive surgery later in life.”

Dr. Gerber saves the most important message to parents of young kids for last. “There are now proven ways to slow down or even stop myopia from getting worse in children. Instead of just giving a child stronger glasses every year as their vision deteriorates, we can now use customized contact lenses and/or prescription eye drops to treat their myopia. These non-surgical treatments give the child better vision now, and reduce their risk of more serious eye diseases for life.  Early detection and intervention is critical as these treatments don’t reverse myopia, so it is best to catch it early.”

You can read the full article here, and to learn more about the myopia control methods Dr. Gerber describes please visit here.

We believe so strongly in the power of myopia control, we are now offering families complementary evaluations for their children. To schedule yours, email us at info@treehouseeyes.com or use our online appointment request tool here.