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Posted on 03-21-2017

Reading in the Dark Makes Your Eyes Worse &

Other Myths Your Mother Told You

Myopia (nearsightedness) is when objects become blurry in the distance. It affects approximately 30% of all Americans and its incidence is increasing over time.

I am sure you have heard the following make your eyes worse:
Reading in the dark
Sitting close to the television
Wearing glasses 

In fact, none of those are true.  Myopia increases as the eye increases in length (axial length) or the cornea (front, clear surface of the eye) becomes steeper.  Just as we grow taller, the eye naturally elongates (or grows longer) as we grow.  Therefore, during childhood, myopia naturally increases.  Daily routines and activities should not be changed in attempts to reduce myopia though a balanced lifestyle between school work, screen time and outdoor playtime is recommended.

Until recently, we have not had any treatment to truly slow the progression of myopia.  Studies, including a new study published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, now show that an eye drop, Atropine 0.01%, used nightly can reduce the progression of myopia by 50% in those patients 6-12 years of age with progressive myopia.   This low dose Atropine use is safe and effective, with minimal side effects.

Schedule an appointment for your child with one of our pediatric ophthalmologist, Edward Parelhoff, MD or Jennifer Dao, MD, in either our Woodbridge or Springfield office locations to discuss this new therapy and see if your child is a candidate for this innovative treatment.

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