Myopia (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 The Myopia Management Center at Loudoun Eye Associates to book your child's consultation today!
The Myopia Management Center at Loudoun Eye Associates serves patients from Ashburn, Broadlands, Brambleton and Ryan, all throughout Virginia.
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.
The Myopia Management Center at Loudoun Eye Associates serves patients from Ashburn, Broadlands, Brambleton, and Ryan, all throughout Virginia.