Preventing Nearsightedness in Children

Preventing Nearsightedness in Children is Possible

preventing nearsightedness in children imageWe are in the midst of an explosion in the number of nearsighted (myopic) children. A 2002 study on the rate of nearsightedness in the United States showed a 41% increase in the number of nearsighted Americans compared to the original 1972 study. On average, a child in the U. S. will see an increase in myopia of .62 diopters per year. Fortunately, current research shows preventing nearsightedness in children is possible with great success.

A great deal of research is currently underway to determine what makes us more nearsighted and what might be the most effective method of  preventing nearsightedness in children. Much of the latest research in preventing nearsightedness in children is being done in China. Over 70% of Chinese children under 15 are now myopic. Needless to say, the Chinese government is putting a lot of resources behind the treatment and cause of the Myopic Epidemic.

What Makes Us Nearsighted?

Your genes do play a significant role in the type and degree of prescription you have. However, it’s not all genetic, environmental factors also appear to provide a strong influence in modifying your genetic propensity to progressive myopia. Even though our genetics may predispose us to being nearsighted there are things we can do to modify this trait. The majority of a person’s nearsighted prescription occurs during childhood. Therefore, finding ways of preventing nearsightedness in children is currently the most effective method of slowing the myopic epidemic.

How Can Modern Science Prevent the Progression of Nearsightedness in Children?

We should only rely on methods based on sound scientific studies to guide us in finding and using effective treatments in preventing nearsightedness in children.

Orthokeratology

Orthokeratology involves the use of a contact lens that acts as a corneal mold (the cornea is the clear window covering the colored part of the eye) which changes the shape of the eye. The orthokeratology lens causes an optical effect known as peripheral defocus which reduces the stimulus to progressive nearsightedness. Orthokeratology has been FDA approved since 2002. Studies show orthokeratology reduces the rate of myopic progression up to 90%. This shape change has been clinically proven to slow the progression of nearsightedness in children.

An Ohio State University study showed that orthokeratology slowed the rate at which the eye grows longer. Keeping the eye from growing longer is a key factor in preventing the progression of nearsightedness. Other studies, conducted all over the world including the United States, China and Europe, have shown rates of reduction between 50% and 90%. Orthokeratology provides a clinically proven, effective means of preventing nearsightedness in children.

Pharmacology

Orthokeratology and atropine therapy show similar rates of myopia prevention. Atropine is a medication discovered in the 19th Century. It is still used today for both systemic and ocular conditions. In the eye it is used to dilate the pupil and to freeze the eye’s ability to focus. Atropine is a proven, time tested method of reducing the progression of nearsightedness in children.

For over 40 years atropine has been the mainstay of myopia prevention. Due significant side effects, such as light sensitivity and near vision blur, the treatment drop-out rate with Atropine is high. Studies show however, low dose Atropine is almost as effective as full strength Atropine. Low dose Atropine is easily tolerated by patients. At Total Eye Care we will often combine Atropine therapy with specially designed myopia control orthokeratology lenses. We believe this combination is currently the most effective method of preventing nearsightedness in children.

Behavior

Changing how we go about our daily activities can affect the progression of nearsightedness in children. Studies have shown children that spend more time outdoors are less nearsighted. Breaking up the day to day routine by spending time outdoors, away from near centric activities is helpful in preventing nearsightedness in children.

Busting Myopia Myths

Under-Correction

Not prescribing the full prescription or under-correcting nearsighted prescriptions is easily the most common myopia myth. A Chinese study prescribed glasses to approximately 300 school age children. Half of the children were given the full prescription and the other half were under-corrected. After only 18 months the study was terminated early because the under-corrected group’s myopia accelerated at a much faster rate than the fully corrected group. Under-correcting a nearsighted person’s prescription, not wearing prescribed glasses, and wearing an outdated prescription all lead to thicker, stronger prescription. Wearing current, accurate prescription glasses is the first step in preventing nearsightedness in children.

Does The Bates Method Work

Eye Doctor Answers preventing nearsightedness in children chapterThe short answer is a resounding no. The Bates Method is ineffective in preventing nearsightedness in children. The Bates Method has a lot of unfounded support in social media. Dr. Bates was an early 19th century ophthalmologist.

What is the Bates Method

Bates hypothesized that various techniques, such as resting the eyes and pressing your palms (palming) to your eyes would reverse myopia. The Bates Method has been tested extensively, using scientific methods, and has been shown to have no affect on the reduction or reversal of myopia in adults or children. More information on the Bates Method can be found in Dr. Driscoll’s Book “An Eye Doctor Answers: Explanations To Hundreds Of The Most Common Questions Patients Wish They Had Asked” along with extensive information about effective, scientifically proven methods of preventing nearsightedness in children.

How Do I Learn More About Dr. Driscoll and the Myopia Prevention Program at Total Eye Care

By incorporating proven myopia reduction orthokeratology lens designs and atropine therapy we greatly reduce the rate of myopic progression in children. By reducing a child’s myopia, we also reduce their lifetime risk for numerous ocular conditions such as glaucoma and retinal detachment. Putting a once self-conscious, glasses wearing child, or teen, into contact lenses is a life changing event. Making the transition from glasses to orthokeratology or traditional contact lenses is one of those “moments” in a child’s life they will always remember and for which they will always be grateful. As parents we know the importance of instilling a sense of self worth and self esteem in our children. Transitioning a child from thick glasses to contact lenses helps to achieve just that.

To learn more about orthokeratology for adults and children and preventing nearsightedness in children schedule a free orthokeratology consult with Dr. Driscoll at the Total Eye Care Colleyville office or call 817.416.0333.

Summer – A Great Time to Reap the Benefits of OrthoKeratology

What is OrthoKeratology

Summer Orthokeratology

OrthoKeratology is an FDA approved procedure that improves a person’s vision without surgery, glasses, or daily contact lenses. Many patients refer to it as “braces for your eyes”. Summer provides a great opportunity to start an orthokeratology program for your child. Imagine enjoying sports like swimming, gymnastics, and dance without the use of contact lenses or glasses. The nearsighted prevention benefits provide a tremendous added bonus to a summer orthokeratology program.

OrthoKeratology Prevents the Progression of Nearsightedness

It’s great being able to enjoy life and sports in general without contact lenses or glasses; however, a significant benefit of orthokeratology is that it has been clinically proven to slow the progression of nearsightedness in children. Numerous studies have shown the rate of myopia reduction is between 50% to 90%. A landmark study on the rate of myopia in the US was completed in 1972. This study found that 25% of the US population was myopic (nearsighted). A follow up study completed 41 years later found the rate of myopia in the United States had increased to 41% of the population. Complete analysis of these two studies can be found here in this earlier TheEyeDocBlog.com entry. High myopia increases a person’s risk for many conditions such as glaucoma and retinal detachment. By decreasing a child’s amount of nearsightedness we are decreasing their risk for these, and many other, conditions.

FDA Approved Technology

Overnight orthokeratology was approved by the FDA in 2002. This was game changer for orthokeratologists. Prior to overnight orthokeratology’s FDA approval, patients would wear their retainers every other day, which was not ideal. Now patients wear their lenses at night, removing them upon waking and enjoy good vision all day, every day. We are often asked if the vision correction lasts more than one day and yes it does. If a patient forgets to wear their lenses one night their vision is still good the next day. Skipping a day of wearing your vision retainers may not result in a second day of 20/20 vision, more likely 20/25 or 20/30; however, very good, functional vision is still maintained. It takes days and most often weeks for the vision to return to the pre-treatment level.

What Do Patients Say?

The first thing we hear from patients after they have undergone OrthoK is that they can’t believe it works. “My daughter put her lenses in when she went to bed, she took them out when she woke up and says she can see fine” is a common theme. Another common topic is “why haven’t I heard about this before” and there are many reasons for this.

Why Haven’t You Heard About OrthoKeratology or Gentle Vision Shaping Before?

Quite simply, there are well under 1000 active orthokeratologists in the United States. With orthokeratology experience matters and there is a significant learning curve in becoming an orthokeratologist. New optometrists and ophthalmologists receive very limited orthokeratology training in school. Dr. Richard Driscoll has been an active orthokeratologist since 1999, helping countless patients achieve good vision without the use of daily contact lenses, surgery, or glasses.

How Does Orthokeratology Work?

Adult patients, kids, and parents alike express amazement at how we can alter or mold the shape of their corneas with a contact lens, resulting in clear vision during the day without the need for glasses. It’s not magic, the science is very well established and FDA approved.  We remold the cornea into a shape similar to what is done with LASIK. The difference is that Ortho-K achieves this without the use of a laser and it does not remove any tissue; therefore, it is reversible, and easily modifiable.

Who is a Good Candidate for Orthokeratology?

Here is a quick list of those patients that benefit from orthokeratology. A more complete list of what makes a good orthokeratology candidate can be found on the OrthoKDoctor.com Website.

  • The moderately nearsighted
  • Children
  • Adults
  • Children that have experienced a sharp increase in nearsightedness
  • Patients afraid to have elective surgery on their eyes
  • Athletes
  • Patients denied refractive surgery due to occupation
  • People with a fear of surgery

What are the Benefits of OrthoKeratology?

  • Safely improves your vision, usually to 20/20
  • FDA approved for children and adults in 2002
  • Greatly slows the progression of nearsightedness in children (up to 90%)
  • Safer than refractive surgery
  • It’s reversible
  • Works while you sleep
  • Great solution for patients with dry eyes
  • Good for patients that can’t wear traditional daily contact lenses
  • Allows you to see clearly all day – some patients experience more than 1 day of clear vision after 1 night of wear
  • Proven technology

How do I Find More Information?

Check out the video below and see what patients are saying about Orthokeratology at Total Eye Care. If you want to know more about Orthokeratology and the Gentle Vision Shaping System at Total Eye Care call our Colleyville office for a free consultation 817.416.0333, Schedule a free OrthoK Consult online or visit www.OrthoKDoctor.com

 

Dr. Diana’s New Book The Driscoll Theory® is Now Available!

Driscoll Theory Newly Revised

Total Eye Care has participated in numerous studies and clinical trials concerning the role of the eye as a window into many “invisible illnesses”. We are happy to say the culmination of much of this research can now be found in The Driscoll Theory®  which is currently available as a downloadable PDF.

As many of you know, Dr. Diana Driscoll (optometrist at Total Eye Care) became disabled by one of these “invisible illnesses” in 2008. Diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) and “POTS” – postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, she began a quest to discover the underlying cause of this dramatic and disabling condition. Not surprisingly, many signs of the underlying problems could be located within the eye, thus that is where her research began.

The doctors at Total Eye Care continue to be especially interested in “invisible illness” and believe many patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (or M.E.), fibromyalgia, chronic Lyme disease and EDS/POTS suffer with similar symptoms and signs – many of which are visible in the eyes. By locating these problems, correct treatment can begin, and the condition can be reversed.

For more information concerning studies about “invisible illnesses” at Total Eye Care, you may want to visit our “research studies” page at http://www.totaleyecare.com/Clinical-Studies.html.

If you or someone you love suffers from an “invisible illness”, we may be able to help you.

NIH Study Commissioned to Examine Prevention of Nearsightedness with Soft Bifocal Contact Lenses

Bifocal Lenses in Nearsighted Kids (BLINK) Study Begins

The National Institutes of Health awarded the University of Houston College of Optometry and the Ohio State University College of Optometry $7.5 million to study the use of soft bifocal contact lenses in the prevention of nearsightedness (myopia) in children. The Bifocal Lenses in Nearsighted Kids (BLINK) Study will follow 300 children, ages 7 to 11 years of age over a period of 3 years. The Ohio State University College of Optometry previously published the Corneal Reshaping and Myopia Study in a 2009 issue of the British Journal of Ophthalmology where it found that orthokeratology lenses were effective in preventing the lengthening of the eyeball in children which in turn slowed the progression of nearsightedness.

Myopia Regulation Treatment at Total Eye Care

Do you have a family history of nearsightedness? Are your kids nearsighted? Would you like to prevent the progression of myopia in your kids? Summer is a great time start Myopia Regulation Treatment. If you would like more details you can set up a free consult with Dr. Driscoll.

More information about orthokeratology can be found at the OrthoKDoctor.com website.

Surprising Conditions That Eye Doctors Find First

People often think of an eye exam as how you update your eye glass or contact lens prescription. More importantly, it is a very effective way to provide early detection of systemic conditions. Readers Digest recently published this article on conditions that are often first diagnosed by an eye doctor.

Total Eye Care is a Google Glass Preferred Provider

What is Google Glass

Google Glass Thin Titanium FrameGoogle’s latest invention incorporates a video screen into an eyeglass frame; however, it is not an ordinary eyeglass frame. This pair of glasses interfaces with your cell phone allowing you to view emails, tweets, take pictures and videos, follow directions on a map, and many other cool features. Last year you may have heard how Google was inviting explorers to “test drive” the new Google Glass. google-glass-splitThe initial prototype did not provide a method to incorporate prescription ophthalmic lenses into the frame, making it of limited use for eyeglass wearers. In late 2014 Google announced Google Glass will also be available with ophthalmic lens options. Four titanium ophthalmic frames and four sunglass frames will be available as upgrades.

Total Eye Care is a Google Glass Preferred Provider

google-glass-sun-edgeThe Colleyville, Texas and the Keller, Texas Total Eye Care locations have completed the Google Glass Preferred Provider Training. Google Explorers can schedule an appointment online if they need an eye exam for either our Colleyville or Keller/Southlake location.

Using your Vision Benefit Plans

google-glass-curveGoogle glass explorers with VSP (Vision Service Plan) vision care benefits will be able to use their frame and lens benefit towards their new Google Glasses. Total Eye Care Colleyville and Total Eye Care Keller/Southlake locations are both VSP providers.

Florida State Heisman Candidate QB Jameis Winston Gets OrthoKeratology!

Jameis Winston Gets Orthokeratology Lenses

Jamies-Winston-OrthoKThe sports pages were all atwitter this weekend talking about how, the FSU quarterback, Jameis Winston doesn’t like to wear his contacts while playing football. He is afraid they will pop out. Problem solved, squinting Jameis Winston  decided to get  OrthoKeratology. The commentators of the FSU-Miami game even commented on how the Heisman candidate QB was squinting to see which play the coach was calling from the sideline. Yahoo News also shows him squinting to find a receiver downfield.

No matter how good you are you will play, and perform at a higher level with better vision. A fact not lost on Winston’s coach, Jimbo Fisher. At the post game press conference Fisher stated “imagine how good he would be if he could see.” I concur, now he will be able to see the eyes of the defender, and his receiver’s, a huge benefit for players at any level. Look out Wake Forest and Syracuse.

What is Orthokeratology

Orthokeratology allows nearsighted patients of all ages to achieve clear vision without glasses or contact lenses. OrthoKeratology has also been shown to be effective in slowing, and in some cases stopping the progression of nearsightedness in children. More information on Orthokeratology at Total Eye Care is also available on the OrthoKDoctor.com website.

New Technology Makes Contact Lenses More Comfortable

  Dry eye We often hear from eyeglass wearers “oh, I tried to wear contacts but they irritated my eyes”. The most common reason patients discontinue contact lens wear is because of poor comfort. Significant advances in contact lens materials have improved contact lens related irritation for many patients. If you have not tried contact lenses in the past 18 months you may be missing out on the potential benefits experienced by successful contact lens wearers.

With better contact lens materials, better contact lens solutions, and better lens designs almost all patients can wear contact lenses. Not all contact lens comfort issues; however, can be fixed with a different contact lens. Often addressing an underlying systemic condition such as dry eye syndrome will improve contact lens wear comfort and extend wearing time.

Now is a great time to give contact lenses another chance. Most of the major contact lens companies are offering rebates, some up to $100. If you would like to see if new contact lens technology can help you please call our office or use our online scheduler.

We look forward to helping you join the ranks of other successful contact lens wearers

New Technology at Total Eye Care Predicts Glaucomatous Vision Loss

Pattern Electroretinography (PERG) Gives up to 8 Years of Advanced Warning

NOVA-ERGDeviceIncorporating the most advanced technology available in caring for our patients is important to the way we practice at Total Eye Care. The Diopsys® Pattern Electroretinograph is the newest addition to our suite of technology. The Pattern ERG (PERG) measures the signal strength of the retinal information being sent to the optic nerve. Studies show that a 10% decrease in this signal can be detected up to 8 years earlier than a 10% loss of nerve fibers detected by the scanning laser ophthalmoscope or optical coherence tomographer, thus allowing for a much earlier diagnosis and treatment.

Early detection and treatment of glaucoma is important due to the fact that nerve tissue cannot be regenerated. Twenty years ago, in the absence of a very high intra-ocular pressure, it was a common practice to wait until a visual field defect was present before initiating treatment. There is a significant amount of redundancy in the retinal nerve fibers, thus studies have shown that a patient must lose approximately 50% of the nerve fibers serving a given section before the loss of nerve fibers result in a detectable visual field defect. The scanning laser ophthalmoscopes changed all of that allowing us to detect earlier, more subtle changes in the retinal nerve fiber layer. Now patients are treated before visual field defects become apparent.

The Diopsys® Pattern Electroretinograph is the next step in early detection. The PERG will not replace the scanning laser ophthalmoscopes such as the Zeiss Cirrus Optical Coherence Tomographer (OCT) in the diagnosis of glaucoma; however, it gives us another valuable tool in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma.

Summer – A Great Time for Orthokeratology

I was asked what is the 60 second brief on OrthoK so here are my high points along with a video. 

Orthokeratology – or·tho·kera·tol·o·gy – a treatment for improving vision by altering the shape of the cornea through the application of corneal molds that are worn while you sleep.

Adult patients, kids, and parents alike express amazement at how we can alter or mold the shape of the cornea with a contact lens, resulting in clear vision during the day without the need for glasses. It’s not magic, the science is very well established and FDA approved.  We remold the cornea like what is done in LASIK. The difference is that Ortho-K achieves this without the use of a laser, it is reversible, and it is easily modifiable.

Check out the video below and see what patients are saying about Orthokeratology. If you want to know more about Orthokeratology call our office for a free consultation 817.416.0333 or visit www.OrthoKDoctor.com