Myopia Prevention – From Evidence to Practice

From this recent physician-targeted article in Healio, we glean some important take-aways for parents who are concerned about their child’s health vision for life.

First, regarding the myopia epidemic and what it means for the future of our kids’ eyesight –

  • prevalence of high myopia will increase by more than 300% to approximately 938 million people by 2050;
  • myopic retinopathy has become a leading cause of blindness worldwide.

Secondly, regarding the cause of this myopia epidemic, the article points out that genetics alone can’t explain the epidemic, citing the mounting evidence pointing to environmental and behavioral changes in our kids’ lives as contributing to the surge. Risk factors like increased time spent reading or studying and, more recently, reduced outdoor time and perhaps light exposure.

Most relevant for our parent and patient community is what the article suggests we an do about it.

  1. The first step is delaying the onset and slowing the progression of myopia to limit further deterioration to high myopia.
  2. The prevention and management of myopia should be holistic, from involving schools and family to developing effective treatment in clinical settings.
  3. Interventions to prevent the progression to high myopia are among the highest priorities in myopia clinical management.
  4. Optical strategies (such as orthokeratology and specially designed contact lenses) as well as pharmacological agents (such as low-dose atropine eye drops) may provide effective treatment options.

Ortho-K and atropine drops are two of the most important treatment options available at Treehouse Eyes.

The article saves its more compelling recommendations for the end. It suggests that “…to reduce the risk of developing high myopia in adulthood and to minimize the risk of side effects, it is important to identify children who are at greatest risk of developing high myopia as early as possible. This way, they can be treated when their degree of myopia is mild to achieve the full potential of the progression prevention.”

Here’s the full article, we invite you to read and share with other parents of young kids.