New study shows link, but myopia prevention and control is possible
For many of us, growing up was synonymous with needing glasses to see far away. Every year, we would visit our eye doctor, only to be told that our vision was worse. We accepted that we were progressing. We accepted our hereditary fate. We understood there could be a link to our near-vision environment, but what could we do? We waited for the time when we stabilized. We waited for the time we were allowed to be fit with contact lenses. We waited for the time we were old enough to get LASIK, hoping we qualified. Myopia, or nearsightedness, has been something we tried to fix after the damage is already done.
What if we were able to change our approach from reactive to proactive?
Well, times have changed. We now understand myopia as something that must be addressed to optimize our mental health as well as to avoid future vision-threatening eye disorders and diseases. Controlling myopia actually enhances our quality of life at every age and stage of our lives. Our children now have access to and may benefit from the medical advancements made in the study of myopia and its impact on our health.
Vision impairment such as myopia affects an estimated 19 million children under 14. That number is expected to grow exponentially. A new study shows that myopia is linked to higher levels of anxiety and depression in children. Compared to their peers with normal vision, children with vision impairments often participate in less physical activities like sports, are less social and struggle more academically. As myopia increases, so do the risks for serious eye disorders and diseases over the course of one’s lifetime. Those with high myopia are more at risk for developing retinal tears and detachments, retinal bleeding, glaucoma and early onset of cataracts.
With all this valuable information, it is more crucial than ever to recognize the importance of annual eye and vision examinations with a certified eye care provider with access to technological advancements. Many children will not actually complain about their vision, so it is important for parents and caretakers to take the lead and bring their child in for annual comprehensive eye exams with their eye doctor. Dr. Hannah Yecheskel has been practicing for over 20 years and cares for people at every age and stage of life. She is at the forefront in the management of myopia at her practice, All Eyes On Rockville.
There are several options available for the treatment of progressive myopia. Low Dose Atropine Therapy has been shown to be effective. It is believed that it works by relaxing the focusing muscle inside your eye. There are two contact lens options as well. Orthokeratology (Ortho-K) includes such lenses as the Abiliti Lens by Johnson & Johnson. It works by gently changing the shape of the eye with the use of a custom-made retainer lens that is worn during the night. Vision is temporarily restored, eliminating the need for glasses or contact lens use during the day. MiSight by Coopervision is the first and only daily disposable soft contact lens FDA-approved to slow the progression of myopia. The first patient to be treated with the MiSight technology at All Eyes On Rockville was none other than Dr. Hannah’s daughter!
You can change the game and give kids a new outlook on life
Dr. Hannah has created an award-winning practice, All Eyes On Rockville, tailored to meet the needs of all her patients. Recently listed on Newsweek’s America’s Best Optometrists 2022, Dr. Hannah is a certified provider for the treatment of myopia. Her inspiration was born along with her journey toward motherhood.
Medical challenges created experiences that solidified her stance on the importance of focused, compassionate, individualized care in every field of health care. After her twin girls were born, her aspiration was transformed into reality. All Eyes On Rockville offers specialized, state-of-the-art eye and vision care at every age and stage of life, as well as an optical boutique equal in quality and individualized care.
All Eyes On Rockville is conveniently located across from the Pike & Rose District. We offer evening and Sunday appointments. We accept VSP and EyeMed as well as all major medical insurance. Learn more at alleyesonrockville.com.