noun Ophthalmology. a condition of the eye in which parallel rays are focused in front of the retina, objects being seen distinctly only when near to the eye; nearsightedness.
What doesn’t work:
• Intentionally prescribing less than the full amount of a prescription. This has been shown to have the opposite effect and makes myopia worse. Myopic parents often request their child’s eye doctor not prescribe the full amount of their measured nearsighted correction. Numerous studies show this is not helpful. Increasing nearsightedness is not caused by “getting used to stronger glasses.”
• Eye exercises being promoted on the Internet. Certain types of eye exercises, prescribed by specially trained doctors, have been shown to be helpful for certain eye conditions. Myopia is not one of them.
• Pinhole eyeglasses. These glasses may provide sharper vision, but offer no myopia control benefits.
What works: • Have your child spend more time outdoors. Research supports that a minimum of 2-3 hours of outdoor time per day has some protective effect against myopia. Kids receiving myopia treatments, like those offered at Treehouse Eyes, do better when they are younger and have less myopia. Like many conditions, early treatment matters.
What may work:
• Limit screen time. Children spending more time on digital device screens (smart phones, tablets and games) may have a higher rate of myopia. Attempting to limit screen time is probably helpful.
• Vitamin D. Vitamin D is produced by exposure to the sun. Lack of Vitamin D may play a role in the progression of myopia.
• Reading posture. If your child reads in bed, laying on their back might be the best position to help minimize increasing myopia. To date, we are unsure why this helps, but it may.
Come into our office for an eye exam if you're worried about possible worsening myopia.