Myopia has traditionally been seen as one of the three types of refractive errors or “eyeglass prescriptions” – nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. However, recent research indicates that myopia should be classified as a disease or a risk factor for disease. This same research reveals that myopia increases a person’s risk for other eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, choroidal neovascularization and retinal detachment.
A research study by the National Eye Institute discovered that myopia increased 66% from the 1970’s to early 2000 in the United States. Myopia is expected to double by 2050, and high myopia is expected to increase by FIVE TIMES in that same timeframe. The higher the myopia, the greater the risk for developing other eye diseases.
Managing myopia, especially for children, will be critical during this time period. The good news is that there are options that can help reduce the progression of myopia. At this juncture there is no effective treatment that completely halts the progression of myopia once it starts. However, clinical studies and personal clinical experience show that the progression of this disease called myopia can be slowed down by, on average, 50%. Over the course of a child’s lifetime, that could be the difference between being a -6.00 versus a -3.00. Or, seen in a different light, it could be the difference between being at a 10 times greater risk versus 4 times greater risk of developing a retinal detachment.
For more information, please contact Dr. Edward Fong and the Sugar Land, TX eye doctors and optometrists at Bright Eye Care & Vision Development.
References available upon request.
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