Myopia in Children
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Frequently Asked Questions
Myopia in children is a disease, not a condition
Myopia is a medical condition that can lead to serious vision problems. The world in which we live today is filled with a great visual load: computers, tablets and phones have become an integral part of our daily life. As a result, about half of the population of Europesuffers from myopia, and this figure is even higher among students in gymnasiums and lyceums. In the states of Southeast Asia, the number of myopic is close to 90%.
Myopia can have complications if left unchecked
A short-sighted eye is an eye that sees poorly because it cannot focus. The eye with myopia is excessively stretched in length. Because of this, dystrophic changes develop in the membranes of the eye: tears and detachment of the retina, myopic maculopathy (damage to the central zone of the retina). These processes can lead to irreversible loss of vision, when any correction is powerless, or even blindness. Recent European studies have shown that if a child at 10 years old has slight myopia, in 11% of cases by the age of twenty he may develop high myopia (6.0 diopters and above). Of these children, 2.3% may become visually impaired (for girls, this probability is 1.5 times higher). In Russia, myopia ranks third in the structure of visual disability (in 2012 – 23.3%), at the same time, the number of people with disabilities for this disease is steadily growing. Therefore, it is very important to care for and control myopia in children to prevent its progression. Myopia usually progresses between the ages of 6 and 20, and only during this period can we intervene and slow down this process.
5 facts you need to know if your child is nearsighted
How do you know if myopia is progressing?
Most often, myopia in our patients is axial, that is, their eyes are usually longer than those of people with good vision. If myopia progresses, the eye lengthens even more, and the risk of complications increases. It is important to assess in time whether there is a progression of myopia, and at what speed this process is going on. When the length of the eyeball increases by 0.2 mm, myopia progresses by 0.6 diopters.
It is possible to reliably determine the progression of myopia by comparing the length of the PZO (anteroposterior segment) of the eye. Control measurements should be taken regularly – every 6 months to assess the rate of myopia progression.
The measurement of the PZO of the eye is carried out using optical biometrics – the most accurate and convenient method.
It is important not only to monitor the progression of myopia, but also to prevent it. An important advantage of orthokeratological lenses (OK-therapy) for children with progressive myopia is the ability to slow down its progression while completely free from daytime correction tools. According to the Helmholtz National Medical Research Center of Eye Diseases, OK-therapy inhibits the progression of myopia in 80.6% of cases.
If necessary, orthokeratological lenses can be combined with any other methods of inhibition of myopia: drug or hardware treatment.
Important information for the patient:
- Optical biometry is the most accurate method for measuring the length of the eye, 10 times more accurate than the ultrasound method.
- The research will take no more than 5 minutes.
- It is a non-invasive, safe research method.
For our patients who are in the process of fitting orthokeratological lenses, an action is carried out: measurement of the PZO of the eye.
Orthokeratology (OK-therapy): good vision and inhibition of myopia
Although glasses and day lenses correct a child’s vision, they limit his freedom and do not have any preventive effect. Orthokeratology (OK therapy) are contact lenses that are used exclusively during sleep and correct myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. The impact of the lens is minimal and not harmful to the eye, however, it is sufficient for the refractive power of the cornea to change by the required amount after sleep, and the visual acuity becomes close to or equal to 100%. This effect lasts all day and gradually fades over several days. Sleeping in lenses does not cause discomfort. OK therapy is the only method that provides good vision without the use of glasses, contact lenses or surgery. This method is especially good for children, as it slows down disproportionate eye growth and, consequently, myopia. Studies show that the rate of progression of myopia with the use of OK therapy is reduced by an average of 50%. This means that myopia by the age of twenty will be half as much as when wearing glasses. That is why OK therapy is indicated for children from 6 years of age and adolescents. The prophylactic function of OK therapy is important for preventing the excessive growth of myopia in a child and the prevention of high myopia, with its possible complications.
Happy children without glasses
Any nearsighted child can wear regular contact lenses or glasses. However, they restrict his freedom. The use of OK-therapy gives the child freedom from means of correction during the day, makes it possible to engage in any kind of sports, lead an active lifestyle, which is very important for his development and see the world with YOUR eyes!
Freedom of movement: OK therapy and sports
OK therapy is a safe technology when all specialist advice on lens use and care is strictly followed. The method of orthokeratology (OK-therapy) has been successfully used in the world for more than 20 years.
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