Myopia Control

There is much to be said about means and theory of myopia control. This includes the plain fact that there is not a lot of clear science behind a) if it is possible, and b) what works.

In a recent discussion online in the FaceBook group “Vision Therapy Parents Unite“, a mother asked how she might expect vision therapists could help her 5 year-old daughter slay the onslaught of creeping myopia. The response from Vicky Johns Vandervoort (developmental OD) won the gold star in SysOp’s mind. Here is what she said:

Vicky Johns Vandervort: Here are some sure things you need to do: 1) get her in the bifocals; 2) make sure she is fully corrected (it is old information to ‘under correct’ a myope); 3) get her outside! Research shows that the more children are outside, the less their myopia progresses. 4) Get her away from the ‘screens’ (iPad, TV, computer, etc). 5) Keep her at least a forearm’s length away from whatever book or page she is looking at. It is also highly dependent on her parent’s refractive status so if you and your husband are both myopic, she is going to be myopic. You will be better off with a developmental optometrist…go to www.covd.org and search for one. Good luck ….

I found the ‘good luck’ portion to be especially helpful. The jury is still out on myopia control, but the fact remains that in general, doing something is better than doing nothing. The guidelines provided describe methods that have been shown to have some positive effect in some studies. New volumes in binocular vision management have content on myopia control.

Another colleague, Dr. Samantha Slotnick, takes a much more hopeful stance vis-a-vis myopia control. Read her thoughts here: http://drslotnick.com/2013/08/does-vision-therapy-help-myopia/

Note: oepf.org is also a nice source of VT docs, as is this list. : )

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