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Myopia Management

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 , , , , and throughout Pennsylvania.

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!

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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!

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 , , , , and throughout Pennsylvania.