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Save Your Vision Month

March is national "Save Your Vision Month" and the aim is to bring awareness to the importance of routine eye examinations. 2019 Save Your Vision Month highlights the importance of early intervention through annual eye exams. Doctors of optometry can provide much needed early intervention to ensure healthy eyes and optimal vision.

This year the American Optometric Association is focusing on Myopia, or nearsightedness. Myopia is a common vision condition in which people can see close objects clearly, but objects farther away, such as the whiteboard in school or a screen on the other side of the room, appear blurred. Myopia occurs if the eyeball is too long or the cornea is too curved, resulting in the light that enters the eye not being focused correctly and causing distant objects to look blurred. Myopia may also occur due to environmental factors or other health problems.

While the exact cause of myopia is unknown, there is significant evidence that many people inherit myopia, or at least the tendency to develop myopia. If one or both parents are nearsighted, there is an increased chance their children will be nearsighted. Even though the tendency to develop myopia may be genetic, individuals who spend considerable time engaged in “near” activities, such as reading, working at a computer or using handheld electronics, may be more likely to develop myopia.

How is myopia diagnosed? A doctor of optometry can diagnose your child’s myopia, or other vision and general eye health issues, through a comprehensive eye exam, consisting of several tests to measure how the eyes focus light and to determine if corrective lenses may be needed.

How is myopia treated? Eyeglasses and contact lenses are used to correct vision for patients with myopia. New and ongoing research shows that specialty contact lenses may help slow the progression of nearsightedness in some patients.

If your child is nearsighted, he or she may be a candidate for myopia control, which may prevent worsening of your child's vision. If our doctors determine that your child would benefit from myopia control he or she may be fitted with bi-focal glasses, multifocal contact lenses, or prescribed atropine therapy.

As with most eye conditions, early intervention is key to preventing vision loss. Your doctor of optometry can help you select the treatment that best meets your child’s visual and lifestyle needs.

(information adapted from AOA myopia-fact-sheet)

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