Myopia is such an issue in China that some schools are removing the roofs off classrooms and putting in glass to allow more sunlight in. In some cases kids are locked out of buildings and forced to do all their studies outside while daylight exists.
While these extreme measures are not likely to be introduced in Australia it is now thought that not enough regular exposure to sunlight by children is one of the factors causing the increase in Myopia world wide.
In fact recent findings from the International Society for Eye Research suggest that spending 14 hours or more outdoors per week can reduce myopia by up to one third.
About 21 per cent of the Australian population is shortsighted (myopic). Usually myopia begins to develop in teenage years and it may get worse over the following few years.
The exact causes of myopia are not known. At various times people have blamed excessive amounts of reading, poor metabolism, poor diet, poor light, poor posture and genetic factors. Recent research has shown that the development of myopia is influenced by both genetic (30%) and environmental(70%) factors: that is, many hours of close work looking at screens each day will drive development.
CAN MYOPIA BE CURED?
Despite ongoing research, a cure for myopia has not yet been found. Properly prescribed spectacles or contact lenses will enable a person with myopia to see clearly. Ortho-K correction therapy has been shown to slow the progression of myopia in children by up to 80%. Soft bifocal contact lenses can also slow down progression effectively by 50% or more. At Envision optical we can advise you about the latest developments and whether they would be suitable for you.
CAN MYOPIA BE PREVENTED?
There is no certain prevention for myopia, however as mentioned above recent research has found that ortho-k therapy, soft bifocal contact lenses and atropine eye drops may slow the progression of myopia. There is also strong evidence that children that over converge when reading can be more prone to developing myopia, so appropriate spectacles to relieve this can help as well.
All initial examinations at Envision Optical are bulk-billed to Medicare. No referral is needed.
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