How to Treat Progressive Myopia in Children

If your child is progressively getting more nearsighted, you are probably wondering just one thing: why? Is it genetics, nutrition, the environment that I’ve provided for my child? What could I have done to prevent this from happening? And the worst part is that most likely your doctor can’t provide any definitive answers. You might feel helpless to do anything about it.

(Something to keep in mind is that there are multiple causes for nearsightedness—genetic, environmental, nutritional, developmental. Let’s focus for now on the environmental and developmental aspects.)

When we are born, our eyes are shorter than they will be (that’s right, babies are farsighted), and as we learn to focus our eyes, the repeated act of focusing up close causes pressure spikes in the eyes which elongate them into the shape they will have for the rest of our lives. As the eyes elongate, they cease to be farsighted, and this process should normally stop when one’s prescription approaches zero.

When one is nearsighted, this process of elongation has over-exerted itself, and the eyeball is now too long. This doesn’t typically happen in the outdoors, but with children today playing on computers, reading, and watching TV, they simply don’t spend enough time looking far away to allow their eyes to develop. The eyes are well-adapted for near-at-hand vision, but haven’t had the experience they need in constant distance viewing at a crucial time in their development.

In addition, looking up close for so long affects how your brain calibrates the control of your eye muscles for near-work, so your eyes are no longer efficient at looking back and forth between near and far. When the eye muscles are inefficient at changing focus, there tends to be higher pressure in the eyes. So, what needs to be done is to retrain the brain to run your eye muscles in the right manner so that we decrease the eye pressure that causes the eyes to stretch longer, resulting in a slowing of prescription increase.

Watch this video I’ve created for more information about how to treat your child’s progressive myopia:

This page is also available in: Chinese (Traditional)

Comments

  1. Dr. Shao,
    Would you contact me please? I would like to have a discussion about myopia prevention. I’m the head of a committee (Myopia Prevention Protocol) of the Orthokeratology Academy of America who is tasked with creating an evidence based protocol using all available techniques.
    I would be interested in your thoughts.
    Thank you.

    Richard

    Richard L. Anderson, O.D., F.O.A.A.

    • yes, the bates method works, agtlouhh it does take timesince you are 14 you should have lots of time and whatever good habits you start now you will have for lifei dont know the program you are refeering to but i do know about the bates method there also are some optamologists who practice something known as ortho keratotomy. it is a series of hard contact lenses that can mold your eyes without surgery to have perfect or near perfect vision. like braces for the eyes. they will also give you exercises.thAT can be expensive, but if you find one of those opthamologists, they can do some eye tests on you and give you personalized exercises, and maybe your parent(s) would pay for the lenses, you could tryif none of that is an option, i can tell you an exercise that works, but remeber you will not have perfect vision in a couple weeks but instead of your eyes gradually getting worse, they can gradually get better if you work at it.ok so if you are nearsighted, the basic idea is to try and focus on the horizon. your eyes are muscles and they are being trained to focus close. so you want to do the opposite hey i have too many tips on eye care i could write a book so i will stop but give you one very powerful exercise .you get a mini trampoline (im serious) and an eye chart (can be homemade, whatever) but something to put on the wall like an eye chart with letters of different sizes. then spend abotu 10-15 minutes bouncing on the trampoline without your glasses/contactswhile you are bouncing, focus on the smallest letters you can see clearly, and keep focusing on them while bouncing. if the eyes get strained, just close them and relaz them for a minute while you are still bouncing. ***if your balance is not so good work on that first because its no good to work on the eyes and fall off the trampoline and hurt yourselfhope that helps

  2. Dr,Shao,Kindly help me as my daughter has Myopia,which is increasing want to know the reason for it & how it can be cured.
    Please email me .

  3. Dr. Shao, my daughter is now about to be 12. She started wearing corrective eyeglasses starting at age 8. She is nearsighted. As you said, she was staying at home and keep on playing on the computer and watch Tv. My expectation was her sight will get improved, but rather it get worse. Her doctor said this is normal with respect to her growth. He prescribed a little bit more powerful eyeglasses. Now whenever she took off the eyeglass she is almost blind. But last week she tried to stay with no glasses for 30 minutes and she said gradually things far from her were getting more clear. She wants to play valleyball next year when she join seventh grade, and she is worrying about the glasses on her face. What do you say about her?

  4. Dr. Shao,

    My daughter is born with a high number (progressive myopia). Can u pls email me how I can prevent the number from increasing…as she grows older. She’s only 18months old.

    Agna

  5. Dr Shao i am a 13 yr old girl who is short sighted i have been wearing glasses since i was 7 and i really want to know how to improve my eyesight naturally i would be more than grateful for you to email me about different eye exercises cures to improve my eyesight i am very desperate as i have had enough of wearing glasses please contact me asap

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