Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The world is becoming more blurry.

A recent population study by the National Institute of Health found that myopia (nearsightedness) has increased from 25% in 1971 to 41% in 1990-2004.

There are a number of reasons that this could be occurring. One thought is that increased near work and reduced time outdoors can be a leading factor in the increase of myopia. Kids are spending much less time outside. They are growing up in front of the computer and television. School work is demanding and competitive, leading to more near work than has been required in years past.

One way to combat myopic progression is with orthokeratology (ortho-k). Recent studies have indicated that ortho-k can slow the lengthening of the eye that causes myopia. This can be important as myopia not only causes blur but can increase risk of glaucoma, retinal detachment and blindness.

Fortunately, ortho-k is safe for children and the technique is becoming more popular as the benefits, such as freedom from glasses and contacts and the health benefits are better understood.

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