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Myopia Management

4 Common Myopia Myths Debunked

4 Common Myopia Myths Debunked 640Myopia (nearsightedness) occurs when the eye elongates and rays of light entering the eye are focused in front of the light-sensitive retina rather than directly on it.

It’s by far the most common refractive error among children and young adults.

To help understand and learn more about what myopia means for your child’s vision, we’ve debunked 4 common myopia myths.

Myth: Myopia only develops in childhood

Fact: While it’s true that in most cases nearsightedness develops in childhood, it can also develop during one’s young adult years.

Myth: Wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses cause myopia to worsen

Fact: Prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses in no way exacerbate myopia. Optical corrections help you see comfortably and clearly. Another common misconception is that it’s better to use a weaker lens power than the one prescribed by your eye doctor. This is simply not true. By wearing a weaker lens you are contradicting the purpose of using corrective eyewear, which is to comfortably correct your vision.

Myth: Taking vitamins can cure myopia

Fact: Vitamins have been proven to slow the progression of or prevent some eye conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or cataracts. However, no vitamin has been shown to prevent or cure myopia. All vitamins and supplements should only be taken under the advice of your healthcare professional.

Myth: There is no way to slow the progression of myopia.

Fact: There are a few ways to slow down the progression of myopia:

Get more sunlight. Studies have shown that children who spend more time playing outdoors in the sunlight have slower myopia progression than children who are homebodies.

Take a break. Doing close work, such as spending an excessive amount of time looking at a digital screen, reading, and doing homework has been linked to myopia. Encouraging your child to take frequent breaks to focus on objects farther away can help. One well-known eye exercise is the 20-20-20 rule, where you take a 20-second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes.

Other options to slow myopia progression include:

  • Orthokeratology/Ortho-k. These are specialized custom-fit contact lenses shown to decrease the rate of myopia progression through the gentle reshaping of the cornea when worn overnight.
  • Multifocal lenses offer clear vision at various focal distances. Studies show that wearing multifocal soft contact lenses or multifocal eyeglasses during the day can limit the progression of myopia compared to conventional single vision glasses or contact lenses.
  • Atropine drops. 1.0% atropine eye drops applied daily in one eye over a period of 2 years has shown to significantly reduce the progression of myopia

Prevent or slow the progression of your child’s myopia with myopia management. Contact Premier Eye Center to book your child’s consultation today!

Premier Eye Center serves patients from Shrewsbury, New Freedom, Stewartstown, and York, all throughout Pennsylvania.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Lawrence A. Filak Jr.

Q: Can myopia be cured?

  • A: Currently, there is no cure for myopia. However, various myopia management methods can slow its progression.

Q: How much time should my child spend outdoors to reduce the risk of myopia?

  • A: Make sure your child spends at least 90 minutes a day outdoors.


Premier Eye Center serves patients from Shrewsbury, New Freedom, Stewartstown, and York, all throughout Pennsylvania.

 

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Call Us 717-208-8816

Does The Use of Digital Devices Cause Myopia In Children?

kid with tablet 640Myopia (nearsightedness) occurs when the eyeball grows too long, or the cornea and/or eye lens are too curved relative to the length of the eyeball. This causes faraway objects to appear blurry. More than 30% of North Americans have this refractive error starting from childhood.

Being nearsighted isn’t just an inconvenience. Children with moderate to severe myopia are at significant risk of developing sight-threatening eye diseases later in life, such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration and retinal detachment.

But is there a link between spending too much time on digital devices and myopia? While digital devices keep our children busy and entertained, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to understand the implications associated with all this screen time.

What Does the Research Show?

There is growing evidence that up-close tasks raise the risk of myopia in children. In an analysis of 27 studies on 25,000 children published in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers found that the more time children spent on near-work activities like reading, homework, writing, computer use, playing video games, and watching TV, the higher their risk of developing myopia.

The analysis found that the odds of myopia increased by 2% for every hour per week a child did near-work activities.

Other studies have found that children who spend a significant amount of time playing outdoors experience less myopia progression than children who are homebodies. Researchers theorize that looking at distant objects, such as a ball flying through the air at the far end of a sports field, and sunshine play a role in myopia prevention.

Not surprisingly, most eye doctors recommend limiting the amount of time a child stares at a digital screen in order to safeguard their eye health and overall wellbeing. To learn more about myopia or to slow its progression, contact Premier Eye Center today.

Frequently Asked Questions with Our Optometrists

Q: What Are the Signs of Myopia?

  • A: – Blurred vision: Using a digital screen for long periods of time can result in blurry vision, especially when focusing on distant objects.
    – Headaches: Untreated myopia can cause serious eye strain, which in turn results in headaches.
    – Head tilting or squinting: If you notice your child tilting their head while watching TV or squinting their eyes, it’s a sign that they are having difficulty focusing. This could be a sign of myopia.
    – Looking at objects a bit too closely: Oftentimes, children cannot verbally explain how they feel but they can express it in a non-verbal way. If you notice your child moving closer to the TV or that they have trouble seeing the blackboard at school, it can signal myopia.

Q: How Can I Prevent or Slow My Child’s Myopia?

  • A: Catching myopia early can help slow its progression and prevent serious eye diseases later in life. As a parent, here is what you can do to help prevent your child from developing this eye condition:
    – Try to limit the amount of time your child spends on close work such as reading, homework, and screen time.
    – When your child uses a computer, make sure they are properly positioned. Have your child take frequent screen breaks and look across the room for at least 20 seconds during each break.
    – Encourage outdoor time of at least 90 minutes a day, preferably in the sunshine. Be sure your child wears UV protected sunglasses.
    – Discuss myopia management with your eye doctor to slow and potentially stop the progression of your child’s myopia.


How We Can Help Treat Myopia

If your child exhibits any myopia symptoms, schedule an eye exam with your eye doctor as soon as possible. Undetected myopia can cause many complications, whether academic, social, or emotional. Early diagnosis of myopia and other eye problems can improve your child’s performance in school, on the sports field, and can prevent serious sight-robbing eye diseases later in life.

Furthermore, if your child is diagnosed with myopia, we can help slow its progression with myopia management.

Our doctors work closely with each family and customize treatment programs for every child based on their unique needs. If you are concerned about your child’s myopia, schedule an assessment for myopia management to see if they can benefit from this life-changing treatment.

To learn more about myopia management or to schedule an eye exam, contact Premier Eye Center in Shrewsbury, New Freedom, Stewartstown, and York today!

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Protect Your Children’s Vision By Getting Them To Play Outside This Winter!

child playing snow 640As temperatures drop, some parents may be wondering how to get their kids outside for some healthy outdoor play.

Below, we share tips on fun outdoor activities you can do and explain why playing outside can help your child’s vision.

How Outdoor Play Impacts Myopia

Studies have shown that children who spend at least 11 hours per week outside during daylight hours have a slower rate of myopia progression than children who don’t. Although researchers aren’t exactly sure why, it appears that sunlight and the child’s use of distance vision outdoors may play a role.

So why would parents want to slow down their child’s myopia? The answer may surprise you.

Having myopia in childhood places the child at heightened risk for developing sight-threatening eye diseases later in life. These include cataracts, macular degeneration, retinal detachment, and glaucoma.

3 Outdoor Activities to Do With Your Kids This Winter

Play With Snow

Whether you have a toddler or a teenager, playing with snow is something that everyone can enjoy. Bundle up your child so they stay safe and warm, and send them out to build a snowman, have a snowball fight, build an igloo, or make a snow angel. Older children and teens may enjoy building a snow maze.

If your kids like a bit of competition, you can conduct a snow castle building contest. This activity can be fun for the entire family!

If you don’t have enough snow to build a snowman or castle, you can play tic-tac-snow on the snow-covered ground.

Go Sledding

Sledding and tobogganing are classic winter activities that your child will love. All you need is a sled and a snowy hill — easy, right?

But before you soar down those snowy slopes, here are some guidelines that will ensure a safer sledding experience:

  • Use a sled that can be steered and has a brake
  • Protect your head with a helmet
  • Dress warmly, but leave your scarf at home, as it can get caught under the sled
  • Children under the age of 6 should always sled accompanied by an adult

Create Outdoor Art

This activity is perfect for kids who like to get a little messy. To make a colorful masterpiece on a canvas of snow, give your child a few squirt bottles filled with water and a few drops of food coloring gel. They’ll have heaps of fun squirting the colored liquid on snow or ice.

They can also paint on snow using watercolors and a paintbrush.

If it doesn’t snow where you live, you can always give your child some sidewalk chalk and let them get creative on the pavement. The important thing is to have your child play outdoors.

At Premier Eye Center, our goal is to help slow down your child’s myopia progression and keep their eyes healthy for a lifetime.

To learn more about our myopia management program or to schedule your child’s eye exam, call us today!

Premier Eye Center serves patients from Shrewsbury, New Freedom, Stewartstown, York, and throughout Pennsylvania.

Book An Appointment
Call Us 717-208-8816

6 Reasons to Gift Your Child With Ortho-K Lenses

Grandparents with grandchildren selfie

Myopia (nearsightedness) begins in childhood and progresses into early adulthood. The more severe the myopia, the greater the chance of developing sight-threatening eye diseases like glaucoma and macular degeneration later in life. Ortho-K lenses have been shown to slow the progression of myopia.

What is Orthokeratology/Ortho-K?

Myopia (nearsightedness) occurs when the length of the eye elongates, causing light rays to fall in front of the retina and not directly on the retina, resulting in blurred vision. The condition affects nearly 1 in 10 American children aged 5-17.

Orthokeratology, also called Ortho-K, slows myopia progression by gently reshaping the cornea so the light entering the eye now focuses on the retina and not in front of it. Worn every night, Ortho-K lenses temporarily provide your child with excellent vision without the need to wear glasses or contact lenses the next day.

Slowing the progression of myopia is very important because if left untreated, it can continue to worsen and eventually lead to severe eye diseases like glaucoma, early onset cataracts, macular degeneration, and retinal detachment later in life. So the sooner you address your child’s myopia, the better the outcome.

Why Ortho-K

Here are 6 reasons why Ortho-K lenses can be beneficial for your child’s eyes.

  1. Ortho-K lenses can slow down the progression of myopia

Ortho-K is a comfortable way to slow and potentially stop the progression of myopia in children. Ortho-K is safe for children 8 years old and older, as the child needs to be comfortable with wearing lenses at night.

  1. With Ortho-K, children don’t need to wear glasses or contacts during the day

Children who begin wearing Ortho-K lenses rarely need any other daytime prescription, such as glasses or regular lenses. Ortho-K gives your child the freedom to enjoy activities without worrying about their glasses falling off, breaking, or being left behind. Also, regular contact lenses are often not the optimum option for kids who spend a lot of time playing outdoors, where the environment can be dusty and unhygienic.

  1. Ortho-K is non-surgical and non-invasive

Eye surgery is not usually recommended for children because their eyes are still changing. LASIK, which many adults undergo to improve their vision, isn’t recommended for children under 18.

  1. Ortho-K is reversible

Ortho-K gently reshapes the cornea but this reshaping is temporary. This allows other vision corrections, such as LASIK, to be performed when the child reaches the appropriate age. Ortho-K is a good option to correct your child’s vision without the concerns of permanent changes to their eyes.

  1. Ortho-K may cost less in the long run

When looking into Ortho-K, cost could be a factor. Ortho-K lenses cost about $1000-$2000 (for both eyes). There are additional costs involving len care solutions, follow-up exams, and replacement lenses, which can total about $300-$500 per year. This may be less expensive than buying one or more new pairs of glasses or contact lenses every year, with the added benefit of slowing myopia progression and reducing the risk of your child developing eye diseases later on.

  1. Ortho-K also helps people with astigmatism

Ortho-K is an effective option for people with astigmatism. Ortho-K only involves wearing contact lenses at night to reshape the cornea. This can provide clear vision in those with a low to moderate degree of astigmatism.

We Can Help

No two eyes are exactly alike. That’s why an examination from an trained eye doctor with experience in using Ortho-K lenses for myopia management is so important. We at Premier Eye Center can examine your child’s eyes with specific equipment, and then recommend the best way to treat and manage their myopia.

By giving your child the gift of Ortho-K lenses, you will improve your child’s daytime vision while significantly reducing their risk of developing serious eye diseases later in life. We can explain the risks and benefits of Ortho-K lenses to help you make the best decision for your child. Call Premier Eye Center to make an appointment and get your child a gift that keeps on giving!

SCRIPT

Does your child have myopia? Ortho-K can help.

Ortho-K lenses slow myopia progression by gently molding the cornea, reducing their risks of serious eye diseases later in life.

Ortho-K can also give your child the freedom to enjoy clear vision without worrying about their glasses falling off, breaking, or getting lost.

Give your child the gift of Ortho-K lenses for a life-time of healthy eyes and clear vision

Make an appointment and get your child a gift that keeps on giving!

Book An Appointment
Call Us 717-208-8816

Good & Bad Gift Choices For Children With Myopia

mario luigi yoschi figures 640Gift-giving season is just around the corner! If your child has myopia (nearsightedness), you may want to consider giving a gift that supports eye health and slows myopia progression.

Why Does Myopia Progression Matter?

Many parents assume that having myopia is only a matter of blurred distance vision, but that’s not the whole story.

Children who have myopia are significantly more likely to develop sight-threatening eye diseases later in life, like glaucoma, cataracts, retinal detachment, and macular degeneration. Rapidly progressing myopia further increases the risk of eye disease later in life.

Myopia occurs when the eye elongates, and light focuses in front of the retina instead of on the retina. The exact cause of myopia is unknown, but genetics play an important role. Certain environmental factors may also have an impact.

That’s why it’s important for parents to consider how holiday gifts can affect their children’s eyes and vision.

Gifts That Won’t Help Your Child’s Myopia

The first category of items to consider eliminating from your holiday shopping list includes toys or devices with digital screens. Although the association has not been clinically proven, most optometrists agree that increased screen time has a negative impact on myopia progression.

While spending time on screens is almost inevitable during the pandemic, it’s wise to be realistic about its potential ramifications for children. Even prior to COVID-19, the number of myopic children was steadily increasing, and projected to affect 50% of the world’s population by 2050.

Another gift to rethink: eyeglasses. Tempting though it may be to purchase new glasses for your child this holiday season, it’s important to remember that new specs can only correct blurred vision; they don’t treat the underlying cause of myopia.

Better Gifts For Myopic Children

Try encouraging your myopic child to spend more time outdoors by giving them new outdoor gear. It is well documented that children who spend more time outdoors in the sunshine have a slower rate of myopia progression, so why not add a new bike, basketball, or rollerblades to your gift list?

However, the best gift you can give your child with myopia is a personalized myopia management program.

Why Myopia Management?

Myopia management is the only effective way to slow down the rate of your child’s myopia progression.

The myopia management program at Premier Eye Center offers three effective and safe treatments for myopia, including Ortho-K lenses, atropine eye drops, and multifocal contact lenses.

A comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Lawrence A. Filak Jr. will determine the best treatment option for your child’s eyes and lifestyle.

Consider myopia management — a gift that will help preserve your child’s precious gift of sight. Call Premier Eye Center to schedule an eye exam today.

Premier Eye Center serves patients from Shrewsbury, New Freedom, Stewartstown, York, and throughout Pennsylvania.

Book An Appointment
Call Us 717-208-8816