Despite genetic tendendies, outdoor play may help children avoid glassesHave you wondered if you can help your children avoid wearing glasses? Myopia is the most common reason for wearing glasses for activities that involve distance viewing; such as driving, watching TV, and going to the movies. Thirty percent of the population is afflicted with myopia, and old wives tales abound as to the causes, prevention, and the best treatments. Most recent studies dispel the myths and provide guidelines for myopia and the best course of action to set our kids on their way to seeing well throughout their lives.
Risk factors for myopia:
Myopia is, likely, caused by a combination of factors. Here are specific risk factors that have been associated with myopia.
Family history – Six in ten children whose parents are myopic develop the condition. The chance of myopia increases if both parents have myopia.
Asian ethnicity – A prevalence of myopia exists in urban settings, such as Hong Kong and Singapore. Because it is higher than rural communities, it suggests that there is also an environmental contribution to development of myopia.
Near work – Recent studies of a theory that dates back a century has proven a correlation between near work and myopia. The Sydney Myopia Study showed that close reading distance (<30 cm) and continuous reading (> 30 minutes) increased the risk of myopia in school children.
Not spending enough time outdoors –a recent study published in January 2009 issue of Optometry and Vision Science, found that in engaging in enough (at least 14 hours) of outdoor activity can help to counteract the heightened hereditary risk of having two myopic parents.
Eye disease – such as diabetes and cataracts, for example, can be associated with myopia.
Treatment of myopia:
Glasses – The most common method of correcting myopia is glasses. As soon as the disorder is diagnoses, the child needs to be placed in glasses.
Contact lenses – Typically during teenage years, contact lenses are introduced. Most myopes do well with soft contact lenses. Occasionally, rigid gas permeable lenses are used. Exceptional care needs to be applied to make sure the lenses are kept clean and not worn overnight.