Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Refractive disorders: Myopia (3). Solutions

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Myopia is not an illness, that’s why it can not be “cured”.
  • If you want to “compensate” a myopia or its problem of blurred distance vision, the treatments most commonly used imply wearing eyeglasses or soft contact lenses (mainly disposable ones); in order to go to the theater, to drive, to walk, to watch TV, to practice some sport,… In this case, myopia is corrected with minus or diverging spherical lenses (thicker at the edges than in the middle of the lens), that optically falls behind the image on the retina.
  • But if you would like to “try to stop” that progression as much as possible, the perfect thing would be wearing contact lenses and still better, if they are semi-rigid permeable ones.
    Besides this, the ideal thing would be to perform a series of simple visual exercises, which mainly teach us how we should correctly use our ability of focusing (accommodation) and how we could teach our visual system to be less “focal”, so that, although we are performing much near work with papers, computer, books, notes, homework, and for many hours, we do not help myopia to keep on increasing. This is one of the visual functions that we can work with the vision therapy.

    Besides all it has been said before, if the myopic person with few diopters (less 1 diopter), removes her eyeglasses in order to perform that near work, she will help her visual system (specifically, her ciliary muscle and her crystalline lens -8-, structures that are responsible for focusing works the right way) not to be stressed. In the case of a bigger myopia, she would need another pair of eyeglasses with less degree of myopia, in order to work at near with it without performing unnecessary effort. Although it is totally proved that the use of near eyeglasses with less refraction is useful in order to reduce the myopia or to stop it, it improves the environment factors without a doubt.

  • Many people choose the solution that “will put an end” to myopia, tired of using eyeglasses or contact lenses during much time, resorting to Refractive Surgery. This solution is given by ophthalmologists (not by optometrists). But I have to let you know that not all patients are suitable for this procedure. What I advice you is to go to a clinic specialized in this kind of surgery and that after a complete ocular exam, they advice you your best option.
  • In the case someone wants to “reduce myopia” without getting into the operating room, there exists the option of a treatment performed with semi-rigid permeable contact lenses, called ORTHOKERATOLOGY or “corneal refractive therapy”. This is performed by optometrists. This technique consists of leveling little by little the excess of myopic corneal curvature (when the main cause of the myopia is the cornea), until the point of best vision is obtained, and respecting the health of this ocular structure. Thereby, contact lenses can be used only when we sleep (and not all nights) and then, during the day we can enjoy good vision without wearing any refractive compensation. This option is perfect for those who candidates that need to achieve a certain Visual Acuity without refraction in the medical examination, and they do not want to get into the operating room.

  • Lastly, in order to “prevent” not only that myopia rises or increases, but also to avoid any symptom of visual strain, we should take into an account some RULES OF VISUAL HYGIENE, that are not detrimental to anybody, but, on the other way, can help EVERYBODY, in the carrying out of the near tasks. Again, these rules improve the environmental factors.

But I will explain all these solutions that we can offer the optometrists in later posts.

As myopia keeps on awakening many questions, research is continually performing going on in order to stop its progression and remove it. Nowadays there is an European project called “My Europia”, that is focused on the creation of special eyeglasses with different refraction in the middle of the lens and in the periphery, that causes that the eye to react different ways in order to prevent that progression.

Medicines, vitamins,… Is there anything that I can have in order to stop my myopia?

Until now, there is no medicine that can certainly works in order to stop myopia. The only thing that has been tried in different schools at USA is pirenzepine . But as you can read in the article, this medicine is able to cause myopia to progress slowly but it is not able to prevent that progression. Besides this result, there are still many concerns: secondary effects, what happens if we interrupt the treatment, or how much time would a patient need to be with it. Also, even though this medicine was safe, it had to be removed from some children because it caused ocular irritation. Therefore, there is still much research to do in this subject.

In the other hand, vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin are supplements that are said to help eye health. I guess this is like the rules of visual hygiene, if you perform them, they are not detrimental to you; they are vitamins and they are always good for our organism, but personally, I would not support a treatment exclusively on them.

Refractive disorders: Myopia (1).Vision and Symptoms
Refractive disorders: Myopia (2) Kinds and factors
Why does a myopic person’s vision improve when she squeezes her eye lids to a narrow opening?
Refractive visual Disorders. Some clarifications.
Some numbers...


Michael Edson, MS, L.Ac. said...

People who are nearsighted do have higher tension on their retinas due to the shape of the eye being more oval than round. The greater the myopia, the higher the risk. As we age, the vitreous gel also weakens adding more strain.

There are specific nutrients one can take that can strengthen the retina and related connective tissue such as lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids, bilberry, gingko biloba, vitamin C and glucosamine sulfate for example.

Also a diet high in vegetables (particularly the green, leafy type), low in refined carbohydrates, and void in unhealthy oils such as vegetable oils and food fried in oils helps maintain healthy vision as well.

Doing daily eye exercises can also help maintain and even improve vision. Dr. Grossman is one of the leading vision therapists in the Country. He is the author of 6 books on natural eye care.

Daily eye exercises also help maintain healthy vision. For a demo of 3 great eye exercises by Dr. Grossman, one of the Country's leading behavioral optometrists, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W10j2fL0hy0

For more related information, go to www.naturaleyecare.com

Shaune said...

Orthokeratology has great advantages for children. Since it is non-surgical it can be done on those who are under 18. This means that kids can enjoy sports, school etc. without the need for correction through the day. No more lost glasses or torn contacts.
Furthermore, children who have parents with high myopia are at risk of developing high myopia also. New studies show that orthokeratology can slow this progression. In other words, when a child reaches adulthood their nearsighted prescription could be far less than it would have been without the procedure. Clear View Eye Care