At what age can a child start Myopia Management?
We see children as early as six months. We’re not starting myopia management at that age, but we are monitoring for progression. There is a normal developmental range of where we should see a child's vision even as young as two years old.
If they're already starting to show those early signs that they might become myopic, we're going to follow them a little bit closer.
We have kids starting in our myopia management program as early as five years old when they are showing significant signs of progression.
For our younger patients, we want to start slowing the rate of change at the earliest possible age. So we may prescribe eye drops over contacts, making it easier for the child and parent to administer.
Can Vision Therapy help with Attention Problems?
A lot of kids may not realize how they are struggling, and their actions could be attributed to other problems, like behavior issues. It might be seen as Attention Deficit when they struggle in the classroom, or in sports, when in reality it may be that their vision is not working the way it needs to be.
That’s why it’s so important to have regular exams, even if your child isn’t expressing that they are having any issues.
Vision is more than just eyesight, and seeing 20-20. It’s the way we are actually using our eyes and our vision, to function in the world around us.
What are the signs that a child is myopic?
Some signs of myopia could be having trouble reading the board at school, failing a school screening, or the yearly screening at the pediatrician's office. Or maybe your child is starting to need a little bit of prescription for distance.
Research is showing that the higher amount of myopia prescription over time the greater likelihood of future eye diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration, and retinal detachments.
Myopia management also helps keep our patients in that great prescription range to qualify for LASIK or other refractive surgeries in the future, giving them more options for treatments later in life.
What is Myopia and Myopia Management?
Myopia is commonly referred to as nearsightedness, needing glasses or contacts to see far away. Although you might be hearing more people talk about it now than you have 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.
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 slow the progression of myopia 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?
There is a difference between eyesight, and vision. Our eyesight is how well we see objects at distance and up close, but vision is what happens in our brain.
Our brain has to actually process the information that our eyesight is giving us, and 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 is a way to have the brain, eyes, and body have an easier time all talking to each other. 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.
Who would benefit with Vision Therapy?
Patients come to us with multiple symptoms, and previous diagnoses, such as 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 even lead to anxiety.
We see a lot of kids struggling in the classroom with reading, handwriting, and attention issues. These can all be the result of binocular vision dysfunction, when both of the eyes are not working together as a team, or not able to track appropriately across a page when we're reading, or a ball across a field.
We also have children and adults with more noticeable 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 have similar symptoms.