News and Advice on Myopia and General Eye Care for Patients and Professionals

What Exactly is Nearsightedness (Myopia)?

Paragon Vision April 25, 2019 Nearsighted, CRT Lenses, Contact Lenses, Orthokeratology, Myopia, Ortho-K, optometrist, Eye Doctor

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Nearsighted: unable to see things clearly unless they are relatively close to the eyes. That is the dictionary definition of “nearsighted”. How many people do you know wear glasses or daytime contacts? You may be one of them. By next year, 2.6 billion people worldwide which is 33% of the population, will be nearsighted; struggling to see objects at a distance.1 This isn’t just a vision issue, nearsightedness is a medical condition called myopia that can lead to many ocular diseases.2

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Myopia: A Children’s Health Epidemic

Myopia is frequently considered an inconvenience and is overlooked as a condition to treat. A lack of awareness about what nearsightedness, aka myopia, is seems to be apparent among many parents and adult patients. On a physiological level myopia is commonly the result of excessive elongation of the eyeball – which causes the refractive image formed by the cornea and the lens to fall in front of the photoreceptors of the retina.3 This causes objects at a distance to appear blurry. The most common form of myopia is school-age myopia. School-age myopia progresses slowly, and usually stabilizes by the age of 20.3  Age 6 is when children typically start to develop myopia.1

Myopia is the most common cause of visual impairment worldwide.By 2050, it is estimated that 50% of the world’s population will be myopic, that’s 4.9 billion people!1  That means billions of people will wake up not being able to see their ceiling fan or nightstand clearly without putting on glasses or daytime contacts first. Billions of people will be concerned about breaking their glasses or losing a contact. And billions of people up their risk of developing ocular diseases later in life.

Blog 2(Caption: Diagram of normal eye vs. myopic eye. For illustration purposes only.)

Will Your Child be Nearsighted Too?

Are you nearsighted? What about your grandparents and children, are they nearsighted? Many factors can influence the development of myopia. Genetics and lifestyle both play a role in how one can develop myopia.3

Whether or not there is a history of myopia in your family, treatment should be a priority. There are different treatment options for myopia, such as atropine eyedrops, glasses, refractive surgery, and orthokeratology (Ortho-K). Ortho-K refers to contact lenses that reshape the cornea to reduce myopia. Paragon CRT® Contact Lenses are Ortho-K lenses you wear at night. In the morning, a patient takes out the lenses and enjoys improved vision completely free of glasses and daytime contacts. By wearing overnight vision correction your child won’t have to worry about losing a contact on the playing field or breaking their glasses when they’re on the playground. Ortho-K lenses treat myopia as well as improve quality of life.5

There are no age restrictions when prescribing Paragon CRT®! In 2002, Paragon CRT® became the first FDA-approved Ortho-K lens for overnight wear.6 Paragon CRT® lenses need to be prescribed by a Paragon CRT® certified eyecare professional. These lenses require an in-office doctor visit due to them being highly specialized lenses, which if needed, can be customized to the patient’s vision needs. You can find a certified doctor in your area with Paragon’s Find a Doctor Locator.

The Ever-Changing Modern Lifestyle

The underlying cause of spontaneous-onset myopia is most likely to be a combination of genetics and environmental triggers.3 Most of the identified risk factors for myopia are correlated with environmental influences, such as an increased socioeconomic status, residing in an urban environment, higher education, increased time spent performing near work, and increased time spent indoors.3 Outside light can affect a child’s eyesight and visual development. You can read our blog that explores the importance of outdoor time for children.

From near work (reading, homework, tablets, smartphones) to more time spent indoors our busy, modern lifestyle is influencing our likelihood of myopia. Once a child becomes myopic, options can become limited. Don’t let your child’s potential be held back by glasses or daytime contacts, use overnight vision correction such as Paragon CRT®.

 

[1] Holden BA, Fricke TR, Wilson DA, Jong M, Naidoo KS, Sankaridurg P, Wong TY, Naduvilath TJ, Resnikoff S, Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050, Ophthalmology, May 2016 Volume 123, Issue 5, Pages 1036–1042

[2] Filtcroft, D. (2012). The complex interactions of retinal, optical and environmental factors in myopia aetiology. Progress in Retinal and Eye Research, 31(6), 622-660. doi:Elsevier

[3] Carr, B. J., Ph.D., & Stell, W. K., M.D., Ph.D. (1995). The Science Behind Myopia. In The Organization of the Retina and Visual System. Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Health Sciences Center. doi:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470669/

[4] Li, J., & Zhang, Q. (2017, December 31). Insight into the molecular genetics of myopia (Article). Retrieved March 28, 2019, from Molecular Vision Biology and Genetics in Vision Research website: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5757860/

[5] McAlinden, C., & Lipson, M. (2017). Orthokeratology and Contact Lens Quality of Life Questionnaire (5th ed., Vol. 44, pp. 279-285). Philadelphia, PA: LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. Retrieved April 25, 2019.

[6] FDA Approval Letter