At what age can a child start Myopia Management?
Well, we see children, you know, as early as six months. Now we're not typically starting myopia management at that age, but we are monitoring for progression because there is a normal developmental range of where we should see a child's vision even as young as two years old.
So if they're already starting to show those early signs that they might become myopic, then we're going to follow them a little bit closer.
We have kids that have started in our myopia management program as early as five years old because they've already started to show some significant signs of progression.
And we wanna start that process to slow the rate of change at the earliest age possible in those younger kids that use those eye drops because that's a little bit easier for the child and the parent to be able to administer.
Can Vision Therapy help with Attention Problems?
So, you know, both of those things are very important that are not always looked at general eye exam. So it's really important. One that yes, your kids are having exams, even if they're not verbally expressing that they're having any issues.
Because a lot of times kids don't realize that they're struggling and we will attribute it to other problems like behavior issues, especially when we're young or some of those attention issues when really it could be that they're struggling, in the classroom and in sports because their vision is not working the way that it needs to.
So remember that vision is more than just eyesight and seeing 20-20. It's also the way that we actually are using our eyes and our vision to function in the world around us.
What are the signs that a child is myopic?
Well, some of the signs of myopia could be having trouble reading the board at school, filling a school screening, or even the screening at the pediatrician's office yearly.
Just starting to need a little bit of prescription for distance. And, you know, research is showing that the higher the amount of myopia prescription over time, the greater the likelihood of future eye diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration, and retinal detachments.
Myopia management, you know, also helps keep our patients in that great prescription range to qualify for LASIK or other refractive surgeries in the future, if that's something that they're interested in as well.
What is Myopia and Myopia Management?
Myopia is commonly referred to as nearsightedness, which is needing glasses or contacts for seeing far away, but you might be hearing more people talk about it recently versus in the past.
The reason for this is that we are seeing an increase in the number of children with myopia, and that is starting at much earlier ages than ever before. Research shows that the earlier our eyes start to shift to become a myopic, the higher our prescription ends up being.
When we're done growing, kids' vision will continue to change until they're about 18 to 21 years old. There are ways that we can slow down this progression of myopia, and this is what myopia management's all about.
Two of the ways that we can do this in our office is with specialty soft contact lenses and eye drops. The contacts look and feel like regular soft lenses, but are specially designed to slow the rate of change and vision over time.
Another way we slow the rate of change is with therapeutic eye drops. When using this method, patients still need to wear glasses or contacts, but this is a great option for younger kids.
What is Vision Therapy?
So there is a difference between eyesight and vision. Our eyesight is how well we see objects at distance and up close, but vision also happens in our brain.
Our brain has to actually process the information that our eyesight is giving us, and then sometimes there's a disconnect between the two. This can lead to issues in the classroom at work while driving and in sports.
Vision therapy simply put is a way to have the brain, eyes, and body all talking to one another easier. We use special glasses or contact lenses, prisms exercises, and some computer activities to not only help the eyes gather the information correctly but for our brain to also process that information to help us in the classroom at work and in sports.
Our individualized visual vision therapy program consists of in-person therapy sessions along with supplemental home activities as well.
Who would benefit with Vision Therapy?
Well, many of our patients come to us with multiple symptoms, and some with previous diagnoses of dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, post-concussion syndrome, headaches, dizziness, and double vision. All of these issues can cause a decrease in school and sports performance and evenly to anxiety sometimes.
We see a lot of kids struggling in the classroom with reading, handwriting, and attention issues, and these can all be the result of binocular vision dysfunction. This is when both of the eyes are not working together as a team or when our eyes are not able to track appropriately across a page when we're reading or able to track a ball on the field.
We also have children and adults with more obvious issues of strabismus, which is when one or both eyes are turning in or out, and amblyopia, which is where one or both eyes are not able to be corrected to 20-20 even with glasses or contacts.
We have a handful of patients that have had car accidents, strokes, traumatic brain injuries, or different neurological conditions that can also cause them to be symptomatic that we work with as well.