Dr. Gualberto DatoAs a child, Briza Mae Ramos was diagnosed with nearsightedness, a type of refractive error wherein she could see close objects clearly, but far objects appeared blurry. At 11 years old, she had an eye grade of 300, and it increased to 400 in a year’s time.
Nearsightedness occurs if the eyeball is longer than normal or if the cornea (the clear layer that covers the eye) is too curved.
According to Asian Eye Institute pediatric optometrist and orthoptist Dr. Gualberto Dato, “We need light to see. In a normally shaped eye, the incoming light is focused on the retina, so the image is sharp. In nearsightedness, because the eyeball is long, the light is focused in front of the retina, making the distant objects appear blurry.”
The cause of this condition is still unknown, but a child’s risk may increase if one or both of his or her parents are nearsighted.
Nearsightedness is usually first diagnosed in children between four and six years old.
Dato explains: “The eyeballs continue to grow, so the eye grade may increase rapidly and require the patient a pair of new eyeglasses every year. It usually stabilizes by age 20.”
Eyeglasses are the most widely used method to correct nearsightedness. However, these will not help prevent the rapid increase in eye grade.
ZEISS, a German manufacturer of optical products, introduced a new treatment through MyoVision lenses. These lenses can reduce the progression of nearsightedness in children aged six to 12 years old by an average of 30%.
The MyoVision lenses are designed with Peripheral Vision Management technology.
“The MyoVision lenses can correct both central and side vision and help slow down eye growth. At the same time, these lenses look like regular ones, so they are comfortable to wear and may only require a short period of adaption,” Dato says.
Ramos started wearing MyoVision lenses when she was 12 years old.
“It was very alarming for me to know that my eye grade kept increasing by a hundred every year; I’ve been wearing MyoVision for three years, and thankfully, it has not increased since.”
Most children are not aware they have vision problems. Dato encourages parents to be mindful of signs of vision problems in their children.
“It is best if we detect nearsightedness early,” he says. “Even if your child does not complain of having blurry vision or any vision problem, take them to a pediatric eye doctor for a routine eye exam. We highly recommend this before they go to school because undetected nearsightedness may cause more serious problems in the future like lazy eye or retinal detachment.”
. (Story/Photos by: Charizze Henson)
Briza Mae Ramos