This post was sponsored by Treehouse Eyes. All views and opinions are my own.
If you’re a parent of a child who suffers from myopia (or widely known as nearsightedness), you’re probably wondering if there’s a cure.. or if there’s something that can be done to stop or slow down its progression. Although there are significant reasons to worry about myopia, the good news is that, it’s a common refractive error that can be easily treated with contact lenses, eyeglasses, ortho-K and other refractive surgery procedures.
My Visit at Treehouse Eyes (Tysons Corner)
I recently had a wonderful opportunity to visit Treehouse Eyes in Tysons Corner, Virginia, where I got to meet and chat with Dr. Kevin Chan, optometrist at Treehouse Eyes.
During my visit, I learned so much about the reality of the myopia epidemic in children and how the rate and severity of myopia is growing so significantly over the years.
As a parent with a child who suffers from blurry vision, I am always interested in learning about health-related issues to help me expand my knowledge.
Facts About Myopia, Treatment, Locations and Fees
So just to give you some facts about myopia:
*There are currently over 10 million myopic (nearsighted, or blurry distance vision) children in the United States, and due to societal trends like increased screen time and lack of outdoor time, that number is expected to grow to over 30 million by 2050.
*Researchers have predicted that by 2050 the incidence of myopia will increase by a further 40% over today’s epidemic-levels of occurrence.. which means, almost 60 million kids under the age of 17 will suffer from myopia.
*Globally, uncorrected refractive errors (like myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism) are the main cause of moderate and severe visual impairment and diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and retinal detachments.
*In the DC metro area alone, there are approximately 180,000 children with myopia.
The team of world leading ophthalmologists and optometrists behind Treehouse Eyes™ wants you to know that there is something we can do about myopia. As the “first of its kind” vision health practice in the DC area focused exclusively on treating myopia in children, Treehouse Eyes is proud to offer the Treehouse Vision System™ – a revolutionary approach to actually treat myopia, instead of just “correcting” it with thicker glasses. To date, there are over 5,000 myopic children that have been treated by the experts who developed the Treehouse Vision SystemTM.
When you make your child’s appointment at Treehouse Eyes, he/she will be given an assessment, and your Treehouse Eyes™ optometrist will work closely with you to evaluate your child’s vision and suggest the customized treatment plan most appropriate for their myopia. The goal of Treehouse Eyes is always the same: to slow or even stop your child’s myopia from progressing. And research studies have already proven that we can slow or even stop the progression of myopia in children, giving them better vision for life.
In the DC area, there are two convenient Treehouse Eyes myopia treatment center locations: Bethesda and Tysons Corner. Both locations offer appointments before and after school and on the weekends to accommodate the schedules of busy parents and children. As for the cost and fees, Treehouse Eyes offers a comprehensive, structured fee plan so that there are no surprises or extra costs if your child requires more visits. They accept major credit cards, checks, and cash and also offer a convenient financing plan from Care Credit. A myopia counselor is available who can provide more details on this financing option. Just call the appropriate Treehouse Eyes location that’s most convenient to you or go here to make your appointment online.
Helpful Lifestyle Recommendations to Help your Child with Myopia
It’s widely believed that myopia is caused by both genetic and environmental factors. While your child’s genetic predisposition for myopia is “hard wired” and probably not able to be changed, there are some environmental factors to be aware of.
You’ll find a lot of information on the Internet about myopia in general, and to a lesser extent, what can be done to slow or stop its progression. Because of rapidly increasing rates of myopia, there is a lot of ongoing research that our experts continually review. You can view the latest research on our TreehouseEyes.com resource center.
The treatments children receive from Treehouse Eyes® will help slow down or stop their myopia. Additionally, regarding lifestyle recommendations, here is what you should also know.
• Have your child spend more time outdoors. Research supports that a minimum of 2-3 hours of outdoor time per day has some protective effect against myopia. Kids receiving myopia treatments, like those offered at Treehouse Eyes, do better when they are younger and have less myopia. Like many conditions, early treatment matters.
What may work:
• Limit screen time. Children spending more time on digital device screens (smart phones, tablets and games) may have a higher rate of myopia. Attempting to limit screen time is probably helpful.
• Vitamin D. Vitamin D is produced by exposure to the sun. Lack of Vitamin D may play a role in
the progression of myopia.
• Reading posture. If your child reads in bed, laying on their back might be the best position to help minimize increasing myopia. To date, we are unsure why this helps, but it may.
What doesn’t work:
• Intentionally prescribing less than the full amount of a prescription. This has been shown to have the opposite effect and makes myopia worse. Myopic parents often request their child’s eye doctor not prescribe the full amount of their measured nearsighted correction. Numerous studies show this is not helpful. Increasing nearsightedness is not caused by “getting used to stronger glasses.”
• Eye exercises being promoted on the Internet. Certain types of eye exercises, prescribed by specially trained doctors, have been shown to be helpful for certain eye conditions. Myopia is not one of them.
• Pinhole eyeglasses. These glasses may provide sharper vision, but offer no myopia control benefits.
Connect with Treehouse Eyes
World Health Organization. Visual impairment and blindness. Fact Sheet N°282; Updated August 2014.