The Shortsighted Epidemic

Short sighted spectaclesWe are facing shortsighted epidemic, but most optometrists are short sighted in that they don?t even recognize the epidemic.

This epidemic is affecting children between the ages of five and 20, and is directly dependent on the amount of close or sustained near work that they are attempting. The reason this epidemic is happening is because of the rise of small screens, especially iPods, iPads and smart phones.

Children tend to go short sighted when they are doing a lot of close work, and particularly if their parents are also shortsighted. With the rise of hand-held devices and laptops, children are spending an exorbitant amount of time focusing on these near tasks, often not looking up at a distant object for hours at a time. Whether it be texting friends, studying or playing intense computer games, many children are locking their focus on screens for hours at a time without taking any breaks.

This amount of intense concentration and focus on a task is causing a rise in short sightedness, where the distance goes blurry but reading and close work is less stressful and easier.

How to Fight the Short Sighted Epidemic

Many eye care professionals simply increase the power of a child?s distance glasses year after year, but behavioural optometrists like myself are not happy to do this. There are some steps that you can take to fight the shortsighted epidemic, with the planned that we limit the growth of short sightedness your child, hopefully keeping them out of full time glasses for their entire life.

Firstly, place limits on the amount of close work that they do, especially on small screens. When it comes to study, Internet surfing, Facebook, texting and especially gaming, make sure that they take five minutes off every half an hour. In addition, remind them to look away from the screen and get a distant object clear at least every five minutes.

Secondly, make sure that your child is fitted bifocals rather than conventional single vision distance glasses. Bifocals have a proven track record of reducing myopia, and the key in our treatment of the condition.

Finally, download my special myopia reducing vision therapy package and start doing the right eye exercises regularly. This contains eye exercises that can be incorporated into your child?s daily routine, as well as specific exercises that you have to set time aside for

If you take the time to stop short sighted epidemic now, the long term aim is to keep your child out of glasses for distance where long into the future. This aim is possible, but you need to act early and be consistent in dealing with the condition. With a little bit of effort, you can save your child from the shortsighted epidemic.

short sightedness in childrenThere is little doubt that the amount of short sightedness in children is rapidly increasing right across the world and most experts believe that the reason for this is the amount of near and particularly screen based activity children are now doing.

We can see short sightedness rising, but conventional optometry offers little in the way of trying to prevent short sightedness in children.? The basic plan for most optometrists is, ?Just wait until you are blurry, and then I will give you glasses for seeing distances.? However, what they don?t tell you is that, if we follow conventional treatment, there is an extremely high chance that the prescription will increase every year as the child grows, and that their dependence on their glasses will also increase.

In essence, we are growing myopic or short sighted kids, and millions of children are destined for full time dependence on glasses or contact lenses, or even laser surgery.

But as a behavioural optometrist, I am passionate about combating short sightedness in our kids, and have discovered some amazing keys to helping this increasing condition.

So What is Short Sightedness?

Short sightedness occurs when the eye length is too long for the optics of the eye, so distant objects appear blurry, but near objects are clear and comfortable.? Traditionally, bookworms, computer geeks and anyone who concentrates for long periods of time may end up short sighted.? What we did not expect is that all of our kids would go shortsighted too!

With the invention of the smart phone, ipod, ipad and hand held games, children are doing more near centred activity in their day than ever before!? Ask any parent and they are likely to relate a story of how their kid can do amazing things on a computer or tablet, and how getting them to stop and go outside and play is a difficult task!

This is common right across the developed world, and while we all love the technology, we are creating a generation of short sighted kids.

How to Stop Short Sightedness in Children

While many mechanisms are responsible for short sightedness, including everything from genetics to diet, I believe that the biggest factor is the amount of near work children now do, and this is one area we can fight back with!

Asking your child to do less reading or screen based work (or games!!!) is probably not going to happen, but protecting their eyes as they do it can definitely happen.? Remember, the aim is to stop the progression of the condition, and taking pressure of kids as they do close work is a great starting point.

In practice, Darin uses reading glasses, bifocals, specialized myopia reducing contact lenses and eye exercises to get the best results, and he has a proven track record of stopping, and sometimes even reducing the short sightedness in kids

At Eye CU Optometrists, we aim to be the most innovative and holistic sunshine coast optometrist, especially in the field of children?s vision, and so Darin is constantly studying and researching better ways to deal with short sightedness in children.

He has just published a book of eye exercises that he uses every day with his patients, and already he is seeing encouraging results in short sightedness reduction and limitation.

So if you are looking for a sunshine coast optometrist who is stopping and even reducing short sightedness in children, we?ll see you at Eye CU Optometrists!