Myopia (shortsighted) progression is all too common in today’s society. We are spending more and more time on screen based equipment and less time outside. There have been numerous attempts to try and find the cause of worsening for Myopia and the general consensus is that there is influence from both genetics and also environmental factors. Some people are just predisposed to becoming more Myopic due to their family history, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t lifestyle or environmental factors that we can change to try and reduce the risk of the Myopia progressing.
In general, it is worth trying to spend time outdoors each day. Researchers believe that the higher contrast of light outdoors is beneficial. Also the distances that are observed with the visual system are obviously greater. Both factors are beneficial in reducing your risk of progression.
It is also worth taking regular breaks when using screen based equipment and it may be worthwhile trying to reduce their use. Generally, the smaller the screen, the less time should be spent. Look up and away regularly.
The most effective strategy to reduce the risk of myopia progression available to date is Corneal Reshaping Therapy (CRT). This revolutionary procedure allows the shape of the cornea to be changed by wearing a retainer contact lens in the eyes at night, so you do not have to wear glasses or contact lenses during the day. This has been shown to have a positive affect on reducing myopia progression in published research articles.
There are also specific day wear soft contact lenses to control myopia progression. They have a peripheral defocus. Your optometrist can discuss the benefits and options of contact lenses to slow your myopia progression.
The use of glasses for sustained periods of near work can have substantial benefits. Our Behavioural Optometrists will carefully assess your visual efficiency skills for near tasks and recommend such glasses if required.
Atropine drops to stop the lens inside the eye from focusing, have shown positive results in clinical studies, however, the side effects of having your pupils dilated for years of a child or adolescents life can be difficult.