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Ways to stop kid's myopia (short-sightedness)?

(80 Posts)
Leo12345 Wed 13-Aug-14 15:11:18


My daughter is now 7 years old.

1 year ago she was diagnosed with myopia about 0.5 each eye.
Now we came for the test and she already has -2.0

I myself have had myopia since the age of 10 and it progressed from about -1.5 to -5.0 (I am 41 now). When I was child, I did different exercises for the eyes and even attended special course several times a week: I was reading my book for one hour and the nurse would change lenses in my glasses once in 5 minutes (lences from +5 to -5 in steps of 1 dioptre).

Now, I am afraid the myopia of my daughter can progress very fast.
Opticians say she just needs to change glasses - that's it, they even did not want to give me referral to the GP. They say it is 'normal' etc. - they absolutely don't care, just humiliating.

And I am absolutely sure that if I come to our GP, he will say the same: don't worry, use glasses, come for the eye test next year.

But I do worry, because once myopia reaches high values it may lead to retina detachment. And as far as I know, myopia can never 'improve', you can only slow it down. Because myopia is caused by the eye-ball growth, it can never contract back.

If each year it will worsen 1.5 dioptres (like this year), in 10 years she will develop -17.0!

We are now in our family trying to put strict control on how our daughter reads (and she loves reading and wants to read a lot). I am considering buying very large computer monitor, so she will be able to read e-books from 2 meter distance (when the eye is not focused on close objects, the accomodation muscle is not strained and the eye-ball growth does not occur).

Are there any private clinics in Greater London which specialise on stopping myopia progress with children?

Do you have similar problem with your kids? What do you do? Just each time wait for another year to visit the optician and see the vision worsened by another 2 dioptres?

onedogatoddlerandababy Wed 13-Aug-14 15:24:27

Hi, I've worn glasses since I was 7 or 8, just for seeing distance at first but think pretty much constantly since aged 9.

I'm 40 now and my prescription has barely changed in the last 20 years, they worsened a bit by about 13 but I didn't get a new prescription until I was 20. All that time I'd been reading and studying, computers I think made it a bit worse.

I don't think that eyesight worsens at the same uniform rate, so you can't predict where she'll end up in 10 or 20 yrs time.

Key thing this is to teach her to 'rest' her eyes, so if she's reading close up to take regular breaks and to focus at distance and mid range.

Is Bates method the exercises for short sightedness?

onedogatoddlerandababy Wed 13-Aug-14 15:27:13

That should say the use of computers by the time I started working, we barely used them when I was at school/uni dinosaur

Hakluyt Wed 13-Aug-14 15:32:41

You can't do anything about shortsightedness- but it doesn't just keep increasing in the way you suggest. It will even out at some stage. Don't
worry about it-'just make sure she has accurately fitted glasses and carry in with life!

Fairylea Wed 13-Aug-14 15:33:54

Please don't restrict her reading or make such a huge deal about this. You'll give her a complex.

Myself and my mum have very very short sight. I'm -9.50 in both eyes and my mum is -13. I wear contact lenses now which I love and have done since 11 but I started to wear glasses at 4. Eyesight doesn't uniformly deteriorate. It may change for a while and then not at all.

Retinal detachment is a risk but it is rare and they can treat it as long as it is picked up quickly - my uncle was treated for this last week. No problems.

I think you are overreacting a bit to be honest.

Fairylea Wed 13-Aug-14 15:37:34

And how is it "humiliating"...?! Really?!?

minipie Wed 13-Aug-14 15:39:00

I have similarly worn glasses or contact lenses since I was about 7 for myopia. I'm about -8 and -9.

I am not aware that there is a huge amount that can be done for true myopia (as opposed to lazy eye/squint). I was given rigid contact lenses at 11 to try to slow it down - it had no effect.

My myopia (as with most) is caused by my eyeballs being too large for my lenses, if that makes sense. The lens focuses the light before it hits the back of the eyeball. My eyesight got worse as I went through growth spurts and my eyeballs grew - but it has stopped getting worse since I became an adult. So don't assume your DD's sight will worsen at the same rate as it has.

It's pretty rare for people to get worse than -9 or -10. And the risk of retinal detachment at -9 is not a big deal AFAIK - it would mean she probably shouldn't become a boxer, rubgy player or bungee jumper but that's about it.

treaclesoda Wed 13-Aug-14 15:41:22

that's what I was wondering too, how is it humiliating to be told you have poor vision that can be corrected with glasses? It's not unusual.

Leo12345 Wed 13-Aug-14 16:01:33

Well, from all these answers and from reading in the Internet I understood two things that contradict one another:

1. There is nothing that can be done with myopia, the eye-ball elongates by itself as it wants and nothing can influence it.

2. The eye-ball elongates when doing close work/reading.

Well, it depends of the personal character: one would be happy and
not care if his eyes get worse; another will try to avoid them getting worse.
One gets more and more overweight and does not care, another tries some diet and exercise. I wear classes and when I go to a swimming pool, I see very very badly (I am -5.0).

What I don't understand is: if (2) is true, why people don't read, watch movies, play computer games etc. on a large distant screen? It is not possible at work, but is perfectly possible at home.

treaclesoda Wed 13-Aug-14 16:09:00

ah, I see. This is a dig at parents whose kids' eyesight deteriorates because in your opinion it's the parents' fault, and on a par with feeding them junk food and making them obese.

Have fun. Just when I thought I had seen people on mumsnet judge every little thing that could possibly be judged, along comes something else.

Still my children are slim with perfect vision, so I'm probably an ok parent after all. grin

Fairylea Wed 13-Aug-14 16:14:58

If it was easy to stop eyesight from getting worse I'm sure the nhs would be telling everyone all about it, not encouraging people to get retested regularly and replace their glasses. I'm sorry but I think you've been reading a load of nonsense.

AMumInScotland Wed 13-Aug-14 16:16:13

"The eye-ball elongates when doing close work/reading." - yes, but this is a temporary effect which happens in order to focus. I don't think there are any studies which suggest that actually using your eyes leads to them declining hmm

Myopia is not caused by neglectful parents.

ObfusKate Wed 13-Aug-14 16:21:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Monopolice Wed 13-Aug-14 16:22:26

Dammit angry If only I'd known I could have prevented and/or cured my shortsightedness, I could have saved a fortune on glasses and contacts over the last 35 years shock Why did no optician ever say anything? Should I sue my parents for not doing anything?

Oh, wait hmm

ObfusKate Wed 13-Aug-14 16:25:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ObfusKate Wed 13-Aug-14 16:26:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hakluyt Wed 13-Aug-14 16:26:50

Because, OP, (2) isn't true. Simple. And what do you mean by humiliation?

Thumbcat Wed 13-Aug-14 16:33:11

OP, beware of paying anyone for exercises etc for your daughter's myopia. There are plenty of quacks out there who make good money from over anxious parents by prescribing non-proven treatments.

Leo12345 Wed 13-Aug-14 16:33:36

treaclesoda, this is not about correction with the glasses.

Opticians are interested in people to come and change glasses frequently, as they earn money from this.
The humiliation is that they have not given us any advice, leaflet, referral to an ophthalmologist in order to help.

Their philosophy is simple: vision worsens - update glasses and do not think. Similar philosophy many GPs have: you come to them with a 2-year-old child with 39.5 temperature for 3 days, they say (without checking the child): just increase the dosage of Nurofen and it will pass, don't think.

Some people still DO think.

magentastardust Wed 13-Aug-14 16:34:28

I am short sighted and been wearing glasses/contacts since age 8. My eye sight deteriorated quite swiftly however stopped at around -6.50 /-7.00 when I reached around 16.
I was told at the time that I wouldn't be suitable for laser treatement as my retina could detach. I wear lenses though and am happy enough.

My eldest 2 DC's are both short sighted too-DD's is increasing quicker , DS has stuck at around -2.0 for a couple of years so it isn't as straight forward as it increasing year on year and a set amount.

ObfusKate Wed 13-Aug-14 16:38:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hakluyt Wed 13-Aug-14 16:39:02

OP- two things. If you are asking for advice them insulting the people you are asking is usually not a good idea

And anyone who tried to tell you that there is anything you can do to cure short sight is much more likely to be after your money than an optician...

Leo12345 Wed 13-Aug-14 16:39:47

Sorry for anybody insulted here, did not mean to.
Thanks for all the comments.

Hakluyt Wed 13-Aug-14 16:40:58

Please don't waste money on quacks.

ObfusKate Wed 13-Aug-14 16:41:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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