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DIY Guide For Parents To Slow Their Child’s Myopia Progression

Parents go to great lengths to ensure that their children are happy, healthy and thriving. That’s why we encourage parents to learn about their little ones’ eye health and ways to minimize myopia (nearsightedness) progression.

What many parents don’t realize is that pediatric myopia increases a child’s risk of developing serious sight-threatening eye diseases later in life.

Compared with their peers, children with moderate to high myopia are significantly more likely to develop cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, retinal detachment and myopic maculopathy later in life. Slowing down myopia or preventing it from developing will greatly increase your child chances of having healthy and clear vision for a lifetime.

The following guide is for parents of all children and teens, whether myopic or not, to delay the onset of myopia or slow its progression.

1. Increase Outdoor Time

Studies have shown that myopia development depends on how much time per day a child spends outdoors, especially during the day and in the sunshine. Although researchers haven’t yet unanimously agreed on the reason, they agree that kids who spend significant amounts of time outdoors tend to experience slower myopia progression than their peers who stay mostly indoors.

One theory is that spending time outdoors allows children to shift their focus from near objects to distant ones. Others suggest that the sun’s bright light is what slows down myopia.

We recommend that children ages 6 and above spend at least 2 hours per day outdoors in the daylight. Make sure to follow local health guidelines regarding wearing sunglasses, sunscreen, sun hats, and getting adequate hydration.

2. Limit Screen Time

Screen time is a big part of almost every child’s daily learning and recreational activities. That’s why it should come as no surprise that the global increase in screen time coincides with the rise of childhood myopia.

Researchers have found that children who spend a lot of time doing ‘near’ activities like reading and writing, or playing and working on a digital device, experience a higher rate of myopia than their peers.

If your child has myopia or is at risk of developing it, we recommend limiting your child’s daily screen time to no more than 2 hours for children over the age of 2, excluding homework. Toddlers and babies should have as little screen time as possible.

When your child is using a digital device, make sure the screen isn’t too close to their face. Limiting screen time and increasing the distance between their eyes and the screen will also help minimize the uncomfortable symptoms of digital eye strain, like headaches and blurred vision.

3. Encourage Frequent Breaks

Any activity that requires intense visual concentration, like reading a book or watching television, should be interrupted every 20 minutes on average.

Research published in the Journal of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science found that continuous near work (like screen time and reading) contributes more to myopia progression than interrupted near work.

So teach your child the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look up from whatever you’re focusing on and stare at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This will relax the eye muscles and break visual concentration.

4. Schedule Regular Eye Exams

Yearly eye exams are important for all children and teens, especially those with myopia or at risk of developing it.

Some parents believe that under-correcting a child’s myopia with weaker lenses than their actual prescription will benefit their child’s eye health, but this is unfounded. Make sure your child is fitted with glasses or contact lenses that adhere to their exact lens prescription.

Make sure to speak with your child’s optometrist regarding myopia management treatments that can slow or halt their myopia progression. Many parents choose myopia management for their children to minimize their future risks of eye disease.

While you may struggle to limit your child’s screen time, one thing you can do is offer myopia management treatments to slow or halt myopia progression.

To learn more about what you can do to help preserve your child’s vision, call The Myopia Control Center At Coleman Vision today.

Our practice serves patients from Joplin, Rogers, Miami, OK, and Springfield , Missouri and surrounding communities.
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NaturalVue Multifocal Lenses for Myopia Management

Myopia (nearsightedness) has reached pandemic proportions, with nearly a third of the world’s population nearsighted. Myopic children cannot see distance clearly, and their vision typically worsens with age, exposing them to a lifetime of elevated risk of blindness and other serious ocular diseases.

Myopia occurs when the shape of the eye causes light rays entering the eye to bend incorrectly. This leads to blurred vision when viewing objects that are far away. Most myopic children are diagnosed between ages 3 to 12, according to the American Optometric Association.

Once a child becomes myopic, the condition generally worsens as they get older. While glasses and contact lenses provide clear distance vision, they don’t cure myopia. They only relieve the symptoms.

Why Is Myopia Problematic?

Myopia can negatively impact your child’s learning, athletics and overall school performance. Additionally, having myopia as a child can significantly raise the risk of developing serious ocular complications such as glaucoma, cataracts and retinal detachment in adulthood.

Is your child at risk?

Some factors that increase a child’s risk of becoming myopic include:

  • Race (Asians are more prone to myopia)
  • Family history (one or both parents are myopic)
  • Spending less than 2 hours per day outdoors
  • Excessive time spent indoors reading, looking at a screen, or doing other close-work

How To Reduce The Risk of Myopia

To reduce the risk of your child developing myopia, increase their outdoor playtime and reduce their amount of near work.

It is important to have your child’s eyes tested by an eye doctor before they start school, as the eye doctor will be able to provide a reliable indication of their future risk of developing myopia.

If your child is already found to be myopic, their eye doctor will be able to discuss all the myopia management options available.

NaturalVue For Myopia Management

While regular soft contact lenses can provide clear distance vision, they don’t slow or halt the progression of myopia.

Studies have found that children who wear multifocal contact lenses have significantly slower myopia progression as compared to those who wear regular contact lenses. NaturalVue Multifocal is one brand of multifocal lenses that offers clear and comfortable vision while slowing myopia progression.

In fact, a study published in Eye and Contact Lens Journal: Science and Clinical Practice found that children who wore NaturalVue Multifocal contact lenses for 5 years experienced great results with a minimal progression of refractive error.

If your child is myopic or you are concerned they might become myopic, contact The Myopia Control Center At Coleman Vision to schedule an appointment. Our effective myopia management methods can help slow down your child’s myopia so that they can enjoy clear vision and radically limit their risk of serious eye disease later in life.

Our practice serves patients from Joplin, Rogers, Miami, OK, and Springfield , Missouri and surrounding communities.
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Ortho-K, the Safe Way to Sleep in Contact Lenses

What is Ortho-K?

Sleeping without first removing one’s contact lenses is unhealthy. Doing so can cause infections, corneal abrasions, corneal ulcers — even a loss of vision.

The contact lenses used in orthokeratology (ortho-k) therapy are the exception. In fact, they are supposed to be slept in. That’s the whole point.

To slow down the progression of myopia (nearsightedness), optometrists prescribe customized ortho-k lenses to children and teens. The lenses, which are inserted at night and removed in the morning, temporarily reshape the cornea. It’s the optical equivalent of the retainer or bite plate that your children might wear to bed at night to keep their teeth straight.

Our optometric team will prescribe ortho-k lenses to provide clear, unimpaired vision throughout the day. This enables your child to see clearly, swim and play sports each day without wearing contact lenses or glasses.

Why is Ortho-K an Important Solution to Myopia?

man wearing green printed crew neck shirt while sleepingOrtho-k is the go-to strategy for children and teens with myopia, first because their eyes have not fully developed, and second, because longer-term solutions like LASIK surgery aren’t an option at this age.

Myopia occurs when the axial length of the eyeball becomes elongated. The elongation causes light to land in front of the retina rather than directly on it. The result is that while nearby objects remain clear, farther-away objects appear blurry.

Glasses and contact lenses allow you to see clearly, but after a few months, the myopia may worsen as the length of the eye continues to elongate. This requires a visit back to the optometrist for an updated prescription for stronger glasses.

Ortho-k lenses provide a solution to this cycle of worsening myopia by slowing down or even stopping this unnatural growth of the eye.

More is at stake than correcting vision: People with moderate (-3.25 to -5.00 D) and high myopia (greater than -5.00 D) have a significantly higher risk for vision-threatening conditions as cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment and myopic macular degeneration later in life.

More than a quarter of the world’s population now has myopia, and half of all people are expected to have myopia by 2050. This is a vision epidemic that is worsening. Children whose parents have myopia, and those who spend most of the day indoors staring at smartphones, TVs, or tablets, are at higher risk.

When a Child with Ortho-K Sleeps Safely, Parents Sleep Soundly

Ortho-k utilizes rigid gas permeable lenses that allow oxygen to reach your child’s eyes so that the eyes remain healthy. Ortho-k lenses safely and effectively work while your child sleeps, temporarily providing clear vision during your child’s waking hours, and slowing the progression of myopia.

As long as your child handles the lenses according to the instructions of Dr. David Coleman and Dr. Jeff Coleman and observes hygiene protocols when using them (washing hands first, using only the designated solutions to clean and rinse the lenses, etc.), ortho-k lenses can be safely used.

Dr. David Coleman and Dr. Jeff Coleman will answer any questions you have about ortho-k. If you decide to proceed, Dr. David Coleman and Dr. Jeff Coleman will conduct a thorough eye examination, fit your child with customized lenses, and manage the entire process.

Our practice serves patients from Joplin, Rogers, Miami, OK, and Springfield , Missouri and surrounding communities.

References:

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MiSight Contact Lenses For Myopia Management

FDA-approved CooperVision’s MiSight 1 Day Contact Lenses are daily wear, single-use contacts that have been shown to slow the progression of myopia (nearsightedness) in children aged 8 to 12 years old at the start of treatment. Slowing the progression of myopia in children may reduce their risk of developing severe eye diseases such as macular degeneration, retinal detachment and glaucoma later in life.

Myopia Management In a Nutshell

Myopia, which occurs in school-aged children, is not a static condition; by the time you bring your child to their next eye exam, their level of nearsightedness likely will have increased. It typically stabilizes by the age of 20.

According to respected international associations, such as the American Optometry Association, 34% of children ages 12-17 are myopic. All the more worrying is that, by 2050, myopia is expected to affect at least 5 billion people globally. In some areas of Asia, the rates are already surpassing 80-90% by the time teens attend university.

This is due in part to changing lifestyles, with children spending less time outdoors and more time focusing on close objects like digital screens. The long-term risks associated with myopia progression pose a serious public health challenge, and the World Health Organization and other international health bodies and NGOs have already added myopia to the agenda of serious concerns.

The goal in myopia management is to reduce abnormal eye growth and elongation. Once a child is diagnosed with myopia, eye doctors typically prescribe eyeglasses or standard contact lenses. While these help the child see better, they cannot slow myopia’s progression. By using the most advanced myopia management methods — like MiSight contact lenses — Dr. David Coleman and Dr. Jeff Coleman can help your child slow the progression of myopia and limit the risks of vision-robbing eye diseases later in life.

What are MiSight Contact Lenses?

kid playing smartphone v2MiSight contact lenses are daily disposable soft contact lenses designed to slow myopia progression in children.

In this unique design, the central part of the MiSight contact lens corrects the refractive error, much like a traditional corrective lens. But the peripheral part of the lens has uniquely designed concentric rings that direct light to focus on the retina. This has been shown to significantly reduce the stimuli causing the eye to grow longer.

Safety and Effectiveness of MiSight Contact Lenses

The safety and effectiveness of MiSight were studied in a 3-year clinical trial of 135 children aged 8 to 12 who were prescribed either MiSight or traditional soft contact lenses. Over the 3-year period, myopia progressed at a much slower rate — by 59% to be exact — in the children who wore MiSight contact lenses compared to the children who wore conventional soft contacts.

These results indicate that MiSight could be an excellent option for slowing myopia progression in your child.

Speak with Dr. David Coleman and Dr. Jeff Coleman to learn more about MiSight contact lenses and to find out how they can help your child effectively limit myopia progression.

Our practice serves patients from Joplin, Rogers, Miami, OK, and Springfield , Missouri and surrounding communities.
Book An Appointment
Call Us 417-712-7345
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Atropine Therapy For Myopia Management

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is one of the most common eye conditions affecting millions of people around the world. Most patients with this condition wear eyeglasses or contacts to correct their vision, but there is a relatively new option known as atropine therapy that has been shown to help patients with myopia.

If you have myopia and are looking for a better way to manage it, contact The Myopia Control Center At Coleman Vision for a consultation. Let us help you experience clearer, sharper vision and a better quality of life.

What Is Myopia?

teen girl smiling brunette contacts ortho k 640px

Myopia, the most common vision problem across the world, occurs when the eyeball grows long. When the distance between the lens and retina is too long, the images come into focus before reaching the retina. This results in blurred distance vision when looking at something at a distance, such as street signs, people walking down a street, or a TV or movie screen.

However, images that are closer to the person can be seen more clearly. People with myopia can experience eye strain, eye fatigue, or headaches. This is because of the natural inclination to squint or strain the eyes in an effort to see images in the distance clearly.

Nearly 1 in 10 children (9.2%) between the ages of 5 and 17 have myopia. This is especially challenging during the school-age years, since the ability to read, write, see the board, do homework and participate in extracurricular activities all become important parts of a child’s routine.

Common Treatments For Myopia

The typical methods for managing myopia are eyeglasses and contact lenses. Prescription glasses and contacts correct refractive errors by directing light to focus on the retina, mimicking the natural eye process. In certain cases, procedures such as LASIK or PRK may be performed to correct vision surgically.

In recent years, atropine therapy has been shown to significantly improve vision in myopia patients by slowing down its progression. Doctors like Dr. David Coleman and Dr. Jeff Coleman now offer atropine therapy as an option for those with nearsightedness, including children as young as age 5.

What Is Atropine Therapy?

Atropine drops are medicated prescription eye drops containing an antimuscarinic agent, which widens (dilates) the pupil, relaxing the eye muscles. In low doses, it has been shown to slow down the development of myopia.

How Does Atropine Therapy Work?

Atropine drops are administered in the eye in the conjunctival sac. This is the area behind the lower eyelid that allows for movement of the eyeball and eyelids. Atropine drops dilate the pupil, which temporarily stops the eye from focusing and allows this function to relax.

Typically, atropine drops involves just 1 drop in each eye, but exact instructions for your specific case will be given by Dr. David Coleman and Dr. Jeff Coleman and the helpful staff at The Myopia Control Center At Coleman Vision.

Atropine therapy may be performed daily either by itself or together with Ortho-K or multifocal contact lenses. Contact lenses cannot be worn while the drops are applied. Doctors advise to wait at least 15 minutes before putting contacts back in the eyes.

Atropine Therapy For Children

Studies have shown that atropine therapy can significantly improve myopia progression in children. A 2006 study found that 400 children aged 6-12 who received atropine experienced significantly less myopia progression. A second study in 2012 with lower doses of atropine showed similar results. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, 90% of children who have atropine therapy show signs of reduced myopia progression.

According to Dr. David Coleman and Dr. Jeff Coleman, young children should be administered atropine drops before going to sleep. This increases the likelihood of effective results as the child is more relaxed in sleep. Many parents find that an easy solution is to make it a part of their children’s nightly bedtime rituals.

Does Atropine Therapy Hurt?

Atropine therapy is a painless process, the drops might sting a little for a few minutes, as it simply involves administering medicated eye drops to the patient. As the drops are administered to the eyes, try to avoid excessive blinking so that they are absorbed properly for the most effective results.

How Quickly Will I Notice Results?

Atropine therapy can take up to 6 months to show a significant impact. Doctors usually recommend checkups twice a year to ensure that the patient is experiencing no adverse side effects and that atropine therapy is effectively slowing down myopia development.

Does Atropine Therapy Cure Myopia?

Atropine therapy is shown to slow down and control the progression of myopia, but it is not a cure, nor does it reverse the condition. The goal of atropine therapy is to stop the condition from getting worse and prevent it from causing other, more serious eye diseases.

It’s important to note that should you stop atropine therapy, your case of myopia may resume its progression as it did prior to treatment.

How You Can Help Achieve Successful Atropine Therapy Results

girl grinning glasses 640If you or a loved has myopia and receives atropine therapy, there are some things you can to help achieve the best results possible.

Keep wearing glasses or contacts

Patients usually need to keep wearing glasses even with a low dosage treatment of atropine drops. The level of their myopia typically does not progress further as much as it can without atropine therapy.

Spend more time outdoors

Research shows that a healthy amount of Vitamin D from natural sunlight has positive health benefits. It’s believed that UV rays, in limited amounts, may be able to alter the shape of the cornea.

Side Effects of Atropine Therapy

The majority of patients who receive atropine therapy experience little to no side effects. Some patients may feel a light stinging sensation, blurriness, or sensitivity to light, but these symptoms disappear quickly. Approximately 1% of patients have reported feeling itchy or experiencing some redness around the eye area.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. David Coleman and Dr. Jeff Coleman and to find out if atropine therapy is right for you, contact our practice today. Our experienced staff at The Myopia Control Center At Coleman Vision will consider your total health needs, ensuring that you get the right treatment for effective management of your nearsightedness.

Our practice serves patients from Joplin, Rogers, Miami, OK, and Springfield , Missouri and surrounding communities.
Book An Appointment
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Soft Multifocal Lenses For Myopia Management

Myopia is an eye condition that causes the eye to elongate from early childhood into the late teen years. This elongation causes the light to fall in front of the retina rather than on the retina itself, causing far-away objects to appear blurred. Regular glasses or contact lenses correct for poor visual acuity but do nothing to address the elongation of the eye itself.

What many parents don’t realize is that myopia can be dangerous. If your child’s myopia increases each year, the higher the chance that your child will develop sight-threatening conditions like macular degeneration, retinal detachment and glaucoma in the future. At The Myopia Control Center At Coleman Vision, we use soft multifocal contact lenses as part of our myopia management program, which can slow or even stop the progression of your child’s myopia.

What Are Soft Multifocal Contact Lenses?

Soft multifocal contact lenses feature three prescriptions in a single lens: one for near distance, one for intermediate distance and one for far distance. These lenses are made of breathable and flexible plastics that allow air to pass through the lens to the cornea for a healthy, comfortable fit, making them suitable for older children and teens. Soft multifocal contact lenses are FDA approved for children 8 years of age and above. Even children with various levels of astigmatism can achieve successful results in managing their myopia with soft multifocal contact lenses.

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How Do Soft Multifocal Contact Lenses Slow Myopia Progression?

These contact lenses are worn during the day so your child will see clearly all day without the hindrance of glasses. In addition to correcting distance vision, the design of these lenses has been precisely calculated to allow a child to achieve clear vision for all distances. They allow the light rays entering the eyes from the side of your vision to focus in front of the retina rather than directly onto it. This has been shown to provide subtle feedback to the brain to halt the elongation of the eye, This, in turn, slows or stops myopia from advancing. Children who wear soft multifocal contact lenses usually find that their prescription will no longer rapidly worsen.

We Offer Multifocal Soft Contact Lenses and Other Myopia Treatments

At your first consultation, Dr. David Coleman and Dr. Jeff Coleman will assess the extent of your child’s myopia, including corneal shape and refractive error. After this assessment, Dr. David Coleman and Dr. Jeff Coleman will recommend the best myopia management treatment options. During this process, patients and parents are encouraged to ask any questions they may have.

Should you choose to proceed with soft multifocal contact lenses, Dr. David Coleman and Dr. Jeff Coleman will determine the exact prescription adjustments required and carefully fit the contact lenses to ensure that they sit correctly and comfortably on your child’s eyes. Your child will immediately be able to see clearly. Over time, your child’s myopia progression will slow or even cease, drastically mitigating the long-term risks to their vision.

If you have a child with myopia, or if it’s simply time for your child’s annual checkup, call us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. David Coleman and Dr. Jeff Coleman and learn more about our myopia management program.

Our practice serves patients from Joplin, Rogers, Miami, OK, and Springfield , Missouri and surrounding communities.


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How Can Orthokeratology Help With Myopia Management?

Is your child wearing glasses or contact lenses for myopia? Is their optical prescription continually worsening every 12 to 18 months? If so, it may be time for a myopia management program featuring ortho-k contact lenses.

Orthokeratology, or “ortho-k,” is an overnight process of vision correction that leaves your child free of daytime eyewear. Along with the convenience of not having to wear glasses or contacts during the day, ortho-k has been shown to slow down or even stop the progression of a child’s myopia. An additional — yet compelling — benefit is the reduced risk of developing serious ocular conditions and diseases later in life, such as macular degeneration and retinal detachment.

If your child has myopia, speak with Dr. David Coleman and Dr. Jeff Coleman regarding the benefits of wearing ortho-k lenses for myopia management.

What Is Myopia?

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is an extremely prevalent eye condition that begins in childhood and usually continues to worsen during the teenage years. Myopia results when the eye shape becomes more elongated as a child grows. This causes light from distant objects to focus in front of, rather than precisely on the retina, causing blurred and distorted vision.

The continual eyeball elongation causes the optical prescription to worsen over the years, generally into the mid-to-late teens.

While glasses or regular contact lenses correct distorted vision, they don’t address the underlying problem, and thus are unable to prevent your child’s prescription from increasing into young-adulthood. Orthokeratology, on the other hand, addresses the root cause of myopia and can halt its progression.

Understanding Orthokeratology

teen smiling 6 640Orthokeratology goes by a few names:

  • Ortho-k
  • CRT (Corneal Reshaping Therapy)
  • Gentle Vision Shaping System (GVT or GVST)
  • Vision Shaping Treatment (VST)
  • Corneal Molding

Regardless of the name used, ortho-k is an established non-surgical method of vision correction that has been safely used for over 20 years. We will carefully measure the child’s eye and order custom-fitted and specially-designed rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses.

The ortho-k lenses are to be worn overnight, during which time they gently correct the shape of the cornea. The lenses are then removed in the morning, leaving your child with crisp and clear vision all day long. As mentioned above, ortho-k not only corrects vision but can also slow —or even halt — the progression of myopia in children.

Who Can Benefit From Orthokeratology?

Both children and adults can benefit from the vision correction provided by ortho-k, though ortho-k may be the ideal solution for myopia management in children. While it is too late to slow the progression of myopia in adulthood, myopic children who wear ortho-k lenses can further benefit by lowering any risks associated with ocular diseases later in life.

What Is The Fitting Process For Ortho-k Lenses?

At The Myopia Control Center At Coleman Vision, our patients undergo a full ortho-k assessment before being fitted for these lenses. We will evaluate the health of your child’s eye and determine the exact corrective prescription. To measure the precise curvature of the child’s cornea, Dr. David Coleman and Dr. Jeff Coleman will use a topographer, ensuring these customized lenses are a perfect fit.

After the initial fitting, patients will be provided with detailed instructions and in-clinic training on how to insert, remove, and care for their ortho-k contact lenses. A few periodic check-ups will help ascertain any changes in refraction and corneal topography, and adjustments to the lenses will be made accordingly.

Ortho-K Is An Investment For Lifelong Healthy Vision

By giving your child the gift of ortho-k lenses, you will improve your child’s daytime vision while also significantly reducing their risk of developing serious eye diseases later in life. The myopia management program at The Myopia Control Center At Coleman Vision offers the best chance of controlling myopia and preserving your child’s eyes for a lifetime of clear, comfortable and healthy vision.

Our practice serves patients from Joplin, Rogers, Miami, OK, and Springfield , Missouri and surrounding communities.


Book An Appointment
Call Us 417-712-7345