Myopia Progression 
Prevention and Treatment Options
Nearsightedness, or myopia, is one of the most common eye problems in the world. It is a vision condition that causes people to see close objects clearly but objects further away appear blurred.  The prevalence of myopia is about 30 to 40 percent among adults in Europe and the United States, and up to 80 percent or higher in the Asian population, especially in China.  The numbers are increasing; what does this mean?
In This Issue
See how Michigan ranks among states in myopia progression.

What is Myopia?
Understanding Myopia, Hyperopia & Astigmatism
Understanding Myopia, Hyperopia & Astigmatism

Myopia is a progressive visual disorder that results in poor distance vision. If the myopia is severe, it will impair near vision as well. In addition to weakening vision, it also changes the physical structure of the eye. These changes increase the risk of future eye disease. It is one of the leading causes of blindness around the world and has a direct association with retinal detachments and glaucoma.  Learn more
What Causes Myopia & Why It Is On the Rise
The entire family benefits from outside play
There are both  genetic and environmental factors  that determine the onset and progression of myopia. 

T here is significant evidence that many people inherit myopia, or at least the tendency to develop myopia. If one or both parents are nearsighted, there is an increased chance their children will be nearsighted. However, t he actual development of myopia may be affected by how a person uses his or her eyes. Individuals who spend considerable time reading, working at a computer, or doing other intense close visual work may be more likely to develop myopia. 

Generally, myopia first occurs in school-age children. Because the eye continues to grow during childhood, it typically progresses until about age 20. However, myopia may also develop in adults due to visual stress or health conditions such as diabetes.  Playing outdoors - without looking at a cell phone or tablet - may help prevent or reduce the progression of myopia! Get outside and play!
Learn more about whether your child is at-risk
Myopia-Related Eye Problems
There are significant eye problems associated with myopia and its progression. Researchers have found:
  • Greater likelihood of developing cataracts and sooner in life
  • Higher prevalence of cataract surgery complications, such as retinal detachment
  • Increased prevalence of glaucoma
  • Increased risk of 4-10X to develop a retinal detachment
Learn more about the research and concerns of myopia progression.
I have myopia; now what? Our plan is to keep myopia from getting worse or perhaps prevent it from ever starting, but it is not a plan to cure myopia. Tue myopia means that the eyeball has grown too long. That physical change cannot be reversed. But research has shown that it is possible to slow down myopia through several treatment strategies.
Treatment Options & Alternatives to Stronger Glasses Each Year
1 . Corneal Reshaping (Orthokeratology)
Corneal Refractive Therapy
Corneal Refractive Therapy
Contact lenses made of oxygen permeable rigid materials are used to reshape the cornea to reduce refractive error. Lenses are worn during sleep and removed after waking up. The allows users to see clearly in the daytime without contact lenses or glasses, so long as they continue to wear the lenses regularly at night. Click the video to learn more.
2. Soft Multifocal Contact Lenses
These are specially designed lenses that have different powers in different zones of the lens to correct presbyopia, nearsightedness or farsightedness. Research has found these lenses to also be effective tools for myopia control.
3. Bifocal or Multifocal Glasses
Bifocals (clear distant vision on top, reading vision on the bottom) or progressive lenses (bifocals without a line and with variable power extending to the bottom for reading) may have a slight advantage for some specific conditions association with myopia.
4. Lifestyle Changes
Children who spend more time outdoors have less risk of developing myopia, even if they have myopic parents and read a lot. More time is spent on devices at home and at school but it is coming at a cost. Get the kids outside to play!