Category Archives: children

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.

Preventing Nearsightedness in Children is Possible With FDA Approved Lenses

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.

Orthokeratology – Reduces Nearsightedness Without Glasses, Surgery or Contact Lenses

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

 

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.

Study Shows Orthokeratology Effective in Reducing the Progression of Nearsightedness in Children

The study of myopia control (nearsightedness) is a hot field of study, particularly in China where the High Myopia – Partial Reduction Orthokeratology (HM-PRO) study was conducted. This study is the latest in an effort to find an effective means to slow or even stop the progression of nearsightedness in children. The HM-PRO study is unique in that it treated 18 highly myopic children (Rx over -5.75 D) between the ages of 8 and 11 with a combination of OrthoK lenses and glasses, and followed them for two years. The study participants were matched with a control group of 18 children, the same age and also with prescriptions over -5.75D.

In the HM-PRO study 18 participants and 18 control patients were followed for 2 years. 15 of the treatment patients and 13 control patients completed the study.  After two years the treated patient’s nearsightedness increased by – 0.13D and the untreated (control) patients increased their nearsightedness by -1.00D.

Myopic progression is also measured by how much the eye grows in length (called the axial length). In this case the treated patients showed a significant reduction in progression with their axial length increasing by 0.19 mm whereas the control group’s axial length increased by 0.51 mm.

The study authors concluded that orthokeratology lenses slowed axial length elongation by 63% and reduced the prescription change by 87%. It has yet to be shown that orthokeratology lenses stop the myopic progression clearly this study, like numerous other before it, show that orthokeratology is effective in markedly slowing the progression of nearsightedness in children. At Total Eye Care we have been using reverse curve orthokeratology lenses to control myopia since 1999 and have fit hundreds of kids and adults.

Eye Movement Data Detects Parkinson’s and ADHD

A team of scientists from the University of Southern California published a study in the Journal of Neurology August 30 indicating they could use a patient’s eye movement patterns to detect Parkinson’s Disease with 89.6% accuracy and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or Fetal Alcohol Spectrom Disorder with 77.3% accuracy.

This is great news in that, with a simple, inexpensive test, patients can be screened quickly and accurately for these debilitating disorders. We continue to see that the eye is a portal to ones health leading to the diagnosis of other conditions.

Excellent OrthoKeratology Video

With the increased rate of myopia in the US population, orthokeratology is becoming an increasingly important treatment option for our patients.  Dr. Driscoll is a member of the Orthokeratology Academy of America that produced the excellent video shown below.  The video gives a comprehensive overview of orthokeratology, including its pros, cons, and how it works. We highly recommend that any patients considering refractive surgery, such as LASIK and PRK, or orthokeratology view this video. By the way, comments are much appreciated so don’t be shy.

Dr. Meghna Lilaram Joins Total Eye Care

Contact Lens Cases – An Often Overlooked Source of Eye Infections

When was the last time you replaced your contact lens case? Next to dirty hands contact lens cases are probably the most common source of bacteria that will contaminate your contact lenses.  The best time to replace your contact lens case is when you get a new bottle of contact lens solution, or better yet make the move to daily disposable contact lenses and skip the contact lens case and solutions altogether.

Contact lens casesTo prevent the contamination of your contact lens case the eye doctors at Total Eye Care recommend that you thoroughly rinse the entire empty contact lens case, including the lid or caps with tap water. Next air dry your case by placing it upside down on the counter.

Back to School Means Eye Exam Time for Children and Families

Total Eye Care and Optos partner in using scanning laser technology for children’s back to school eye exams.

COLLEYVILLE, TEXAS – August 1,

2010 – In conjunction with Back to School time, Dr. Richard Driscoll and Dr. Alycia Green, eye doctors at Total Eye Care in Keller and Colleyville, are working with Optos to launch a program aimed at educating parents about the importance of regular eye examinations for children. It is estimated that 80 percent of what children learn during their first 12 years is related to sight, yet unfortunately 86 percent of children in the U.S. start school without first having a comprehensive eye exam.

FDA Study Cites Contact Lenses as Leading Cause of Medical Device Related Emergency Room Visits

During a 24 month study of 100 hospitals contact lenses accounted for 23% of
medical device related emergency room visits involving children.

In a study published online this week in the journal Pediatrics entitled “Emergency Department Visits for Medical Device-Associated Adverse Events Among Children” it was found that 23% of the medical device related emergency room visits involving  children from birth to 21 years of age were contact lens related, this is in contrast to the next closest category,  injuries due to a puncture by a hypodermic needle, which placed a distant second at 8%.   An additional noteworthy finding was that an another 6% of the ER visits  involved lacerations caused by eyeglasses.

The study did not outline how the children were using their contact lenses.  Were they caring for and cleaning them properly?  Did they discard the lenses according to the replacement interval prescribed by their doctor and what type of contact lenses were involved in the study?  The injuries incurred while wearing eyeglasses did not specify the type of activity the child was participating in when the incident occurred.

Contact lenses are medical devices and as such require a prescription from an eye doctor with professional fitting and followup. In clinical practice we have found that patients that follow the guidelines below rarely experience contact lens related complications.

Injuries due to eyeglass lenses and frames was also a significant source of injuries in the study. We must therefore, not forget to provide our children with protective eyewear when they participate in sports.  Sports eyewear has come a long way since the days when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar captured his trademark look.  Sports eyewear has now become fashionable and safe.

More information on contact lenses.