Nearsightedness, or myopia, the condition of those who can’t see objects at a distance, is increasing at an “alarming” rate, according to the World Health Organization. The National Eye Institute at the National Institutes of Health states that about 42 percent of Americans are myopic, up from 25 percent in 1971. Responding to the rising number of children with blurry vision caused by myopia, the University of Houston Eye Institute is offering a Myopia Management Service to correct and manage nearsightedness in children.
It’s the first of its kind in Texas.
Myopia typically appears when children are in their early school years and can be associated with long-term eye health problems such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. No conclusive studies link the rise of myopia in children to their increased use of technology, but enough research and anecdotal evidence exists to support these theories.
“Children are doing a lot more ‘near work’ even before kindergarten, especially on digital devices, and not getting outside as much,” said Kathryn Richdale, UH associate professor and optometrist. “At the same time, we’re seeing this staggering increase in myopia.”
Treatments offered by the Myopia Management Service will have the maximum impact during childhood, a time of rapid myopic progression.
“We can’t stop or reverse myopia, but we can slow down the progression,” said Richdale. “We use certain eye drops or specialty multifocal or orthokeratology lenses.” The orthokeratology lenses are worn while users are sleeping and temporarily re-shape the eyes so users don’t need glasses during the day.
If patients continue wearing the lenses, they slow down the progression of myopia, Richdale said.
Focusing on a typical patient
One such patient wearing the contacts at night is 12-year old Joaquin Martinez who says he rarely, if ever, misses a night. Only slightly myopic, he hates wearing his glasses. “I strongly dislike them,” said Martinez, mirroring a sentiment shared by many young patients, according to Richdale.
Lots of his schoolwork is done on digital textbooks, so he’s on the computer at school as well as at home where he is a self-confessed video game fanatic. Martinez represents a pretty typical American pre-teen, and something more – a study in why myopia rates may have climbed dramatically in the last few decades.
“Outdoor time appears to be very good in cutting the risk for nearsightedness,” said Richdale. “We do not fully understand why, but it may be related to the idea that when people are outside there is generally brighter light and eyes are focusing on objects farther away.”
The University Eye Institute Myopia Management Service is located on the University of Houston campus inside Health Building 2 at 4901 Calhoun. Click here for more information or call 713-743-2015 for appointments.
RT @BCMHouston_News: Did you see @BCMFromtheLabs's Image of the Month? Learn more about assembling a rotavirus factory here: https://t.co/d…
RT @MDAndersonTrial: A Phase II Study of INVAC-1 Treatment of Patients with High-Risk Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia now Enrolling https://t.…
DYK our Outreach Physics team monitors 98% of #radiationtherapy facilities in the U.S. to ensure patients are receiving the correct dosage?Learn more about our specialized team: https://t.co/lZMlUxnvOf #endcancer
@tarablue77 @Saints @drewbrees @SeanPayton @camjordan94 @Cantguardmike @BenjaminSWatson @T_Hill4 @A_kamara6 @thomasmorstead @AlexAnzalone47 @MarkIngram22 @shonrp2 @wil_lutz5 Let us know if you need anything while you're here, Tara. We're sending good vibes your way.
The Point-in-Time Count is one of the ways VA estimates the homeless Veteran population in the U.S. Thank you to all the volunteers who are participating in the count across America. Read about the count and last year’s results: https://t.co/omTnfYz9xQ #EndVeteranHomelessness https://t.co/gwvwRCFMHI
Vietnam Veteran receives replacement medals https://t.co/aMTfLrP5WS via @theindependent
RT @UTPhysicians: UTHealthCares, a student-led initiative to help the community, is holding their 2nd annual health fair on Saturday, Jan.…
RT @UTPhysicians: A well-woman exam is an important way to stay healthy. The main goals are to document/update your health habits and histo…
RT @UTPhysicians: Falling can lead to broken bones or disability, and each year 1 in 4 older adults are injured due to falls. To help lower…
Department of Veterans Affairs making suicide prevention a top clinical priority https://t.co/vhFQwYkMYv @WDTnews
We were honored to host The Rev. Dr. Derek. Barber King, Sr., nephew of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to celebrate the life & legacy of Dr. King.Dr. King’s unwavering focus & passion will forever be an inspiration on our path forward. #MLKDay https://t.co/HimY0WY4fP
According to the American Cancer Society, obesity acts as a risk factor in developing liver, pancreatic and endometrial cancers. Here are simple exercises to sit less and move more: https://t.co/XtYhfqN2RV.
Join us for a twitter chat on Jan. 23 at 2 p.m. CST (3 p.m. ET) to discuss what you can do to have a healthy baby. #Best4YouBest4Baby #WellnessWed https://t.co/CGMqI4SmMK
CHI St. Luke's Health@CHI_StLukes
.@tdouglaslawson, President of Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center & CEO of the CHI Texas Division, led a moving ceremony with Minister Howard Watson and Reverend D. Darnell to celebrate the vital work and lasting national impact of Dr. King. https://t.co/3hAiyGJzww
CHI St. Luke's Health@CHI_StLukes
Facilities across the CHI Texas Division are honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today. We are proud to be an organization committed to social justice, diversity, and respect for pioneers in equality like Dr. King. #MLKday