As the school year comes to an end, it’s important to make sure that your child’s eye health remains on track during the summer and beyond. Younger generations are more susceptible to myopia, which is caused by the lengthening of the eye from front to back. Consequently, light is focused in front of the retina and not directly on it, causing distant objects to be blurry. The best way to prevent child myopia from developing or worsening is to get them in to see a Reno optometrist who will create a treatment plan designed specifically for their eye needs.
Myopia is prominent in children today because of environmental factors ranging from poor lighting and not enough time outdoors to excessive screen time. Genetics also can play a role based on if both parents or only one is myopic. A fifty percent chance of myopia is possible if both parents have it, a thirty-three percent chance if one parent has it, and a twenty-five percent chance if neither parent is myopic.
Children who spend at least two hours a day outside with sunglasses on are less likely to become myopic. However, researchers found that once a child has become nearsighted, outdoor time does not slow myopia progression.
Myopia can put an individual at risk for complications like retinal detachment, glaucoma, cataracts, chorioretinal degeneration, and more as they age. It is definitely considered an epidemic with a forty percent diagnosis in young patients and climbing.
Another increasingly common issue in children today is eye turns, or strabismus. Known as being “cross-eyed,” it’s the result of excessive focusing. Sometimes it is a genetic issue in children, and other times it can be developed between the ages of one year to four years. We can detect and treat both of these issues with vision therapy and surgical treatments, all while ensuring you or your child have the proper depth perception.
The MiSight 1-day program is FDA approved and helps optometrists across the country change the futures of young patients on the road to myopia. According to CooperVision, the corporation behind the high-quality contact lenses, age-appropriate children wearing MiSight experience an average of 59% reduction in myopia progression during a three-year period. There’s also a 52% reduction in eye lengthening, and more than 90% of children continued to express a strong preference for MiSight 1-day contact lenses over their glasses at the five-year check-up. Their parents expressed the same sentiment as well.
We typically do recommend that for much lower levels of myopia (approximately -1.00 or less) to go with MiSight as opposed to Ortho K for vision correction and control over any possible issues. If you’d like to learn more about these efforts to educate people and prevent worsening side effects of myopia, check out their Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Over half of the country’s eye care practitioners agree that if myopia is left untreated, it will lead to irreversible vision loss. After some time, detrimental diseases like retinal detachment or myopic maculopathy are possible. MiSight lenses accommodate a more active lifestyle, provide and correct distance vision immediately, and are comfortable at any age.
As a pediatric optometrist in Reno NV, Visionary Eye Center has plenty of experience helping children and even their parents navigate the different tests and procedures for vision health. Here is a quick rundown of what some of the most common machines we use to treat myopia while lessening its side effects over time:
One of the machines our practice utilizes is the Zeiss IOLMaster for axial length measurements as it’s the best way to monitor myopia progression. This equipment for ocular biometry tests the measurements and size of the eyeball to calculate the dioptric power of intraocular lenses implanted at the end of the crystalline lens (near the inner lens of the eye that helps to focus better.)
Intraocular lenses are also called IOL for short, and you may have seen them implanted in the eyes of cataract patients too.
This is something that can be easily monitored in children because when the elongation reaches and goes beyond 26 millimeters, the risk of potential vision impairment increases. Even better, this machine is quick – we can measure both of a patient’s eyes in less than a minute!
Measuring axial length is a required measurement when looking at treatment, and it’s the leading practice when compared to detecting myopia progression over-refraction. Unfortunately, many doctors haven’t equipped their offices with the technology at this time– but we have it here at Visionary Eye Center, setting us apart as experts treating myopia at a higher level.
Orthokeratology, or Ortho-K, creates specially designed corneal molds to considerably reshape the eye overnight as part of an FDA-approved process for all ages. Similar to how dental braces can reshape your teeth, Ortho-K processes help fix those refractive errors that cause myopia or hyperopia and astigmatism as well.
Keratographs are for fitting contacts using MiSight and dry eye testing with the crystal tear report. It’s an incredibly helpful tool for diagnosis and education about a plan to improve potential issues when it comes to the evaporation of tear film, too. As an advanced corneal topographer with a built-in real-time keratometer, it can examine the meibomian glands and evaluate the lipid layer. Keratographs are effective in measuring the tear film break-up time and the tear meniscus height measurement in a non-invasive, painless way for patients.
Maestro equipment is used for the screening of glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration. Taking a look at a patient’s retina, optic nerve, and anterior segment of the eye is a much quicker practice than before. Using Maestro technology allows our Reno optometrist to rapidly and clearly analyze various functions and facets of the eye for the most reliable results.
The team frequently relies on Pentacam technology for custom contact lens design to ensure they are gas permeable. Most contacts are gas permeable because they are made of firm, durable polymer with high oxygen permeability. It helps with orthokeratology for myopia control or sclera lenses, in concurrence with the IOL Master, WAVE contacts, and Scanfit Pro. When used with the IOL Master, the Pentacam eye scanner offers patients safe and precise LASIK procedures and corrects potential intraocular refractive issues.
How does the collaboration work? It simply combines elevation-specific technology with exciting new developments from ocular topographical scanning for ophthalmologists to access in their clinics to custom design software for printing sclera lenses.
All in all, we strive to have the best technology for our patients and the services and scans provide vast treatment options. If you’re struggling with myopia, dry eye, or the after-effects of either of these conditions, Dr. Jason Bolenbaker is here to help.
The MiSight program is just one of the ways we reach our goals based on our philosophy of how an educated patient makes better health decisions for their families. We want our patients to be educated on every treatment option offered to them, and make the best choices for their care.
Our team of optometrists in Reno is ready to help patients of all ages begin their eyesight correction journey and prevent any further issues. Contact Visionary Eye Center today and make an appointment with a medical care team you can trust.
March is National Save Your Vision Month, so what better time to schedule your annual eye exam. With Spring Break quickly approaching, it’s the perfect time for the whole family to see an optometrist in Reno. Dr. Bolenbaker and his team at the Visionary Eye Center look forward to meeting you and your family and taking care of your eye vision needs. As the best eye doctor in Reno, we offer pediatric eye care services to ensure that your child is developing proper depth perception, essential binocular skills and more.
Preventative eye care is important because eyesight is one of the most important senses. Eighty percent of what we perceive is because of our eyesight, so protecting your eyes will reduce the chance of blindness, vision loss, and long term eye diseases like cataracts and glaucoma. Vision disability is one of the top 10 disabilities among adults 18 years and older, and is one of the most prevalent disabling conditions among children. Because of our aging population, the CDC reports that the number of visually impaired individuals in the United States will double by 2030 and triple by 2050.
Other reasons to see an eye doctor in Reno include getting assistance with any decreased vision, eye pain, or double vision issues. We strongly encourage people to take care of their vision health, and the first step to it is making sure to schedule an annual eye exam. Visionary Eye Center can offer these important services in addition to exams:
Take care of your eyes and correct mild cases of farsightedness and presbyopia by beginning the safe processes of orthokeratology, myopia control, and more at our center today. The Lasik procedure is a great refractive practice to help with easily fixing any vision issues too.
Our Reno family eye care center is also one of the only low vision specialty clinics around, and there’s nothing more enriching than helping the partially sighted regain their independence.
We want the Reno community to be well informed on the best eye health decisions all year round. We offer several services for your eye health, whether it’s dry eye care, contact lenses, or myopia control. Don’t put off something as important as preventative eye care. The team at Visionary Eye Center are Reno optometrists with plenty of experience. Click here to schedule an appointment today. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any general inquiries or concerns, and we look forward to meeting you!
Keratoconus may not be a familiar word for many people, but the disease affects a large number of eye care patients. Keratoconus (KCN) is a progressive eye disease that causes complications with the cornea. It results in vision problems that range from mild to severe and will likely require some form of corrective methods to improve the person’s ability to see.
Through years of research, professionals have been able to determine generally how many people have keratoconus, and the results are surprising. Since a 2017 study performed by Dr. Daniel Godefrooij, it was found that KCN affects roughly 5-10 times more patients than the original findings suggested. Let’s take a deeper dive into what keratoconus is below.
As stated above, keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that can impair a person’s vision and significantly affect the cornea. For patients with keratoconus, the cornea in one or both eyes becomes thin and scars in the center. Specifically, keratoconus involves the central portion of the cornea, which affects a large portion of the eye. The result is a noticeably protruding cornea that has an irregular conical shape followed by poor eyesight.
It’s typical for keratoconus to become present during puberty, or a person’s teen years, and worsens or progresses over time. By the 5th or 6th decade of life the disease will stabilize, but typically a patient with keratoconus will experience irregular astigmatism or scarring that might not be treatable by corrective lenses alone. In the worst cases, a patient may require a corrective procedure known as a corneal transplant.
Originally, research done in part by NKCF (National Keratoconus Foundation) suggested that 1 in 2,000 people were diagnosed with KCN. Years later in 2017, these numbers were questioned by Dr. Daniel Godefrooij who determined that these rates are significantly higher than what was traditionally found. When determining how many people have keratoconus, LASIK (laser in situ keratomileuses) eye surgery played a critical role.
LASIK is a popular method of vision correction that uses lasers to correct the refraction of eye lenses for patients suffering from myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. With the increased popularity of LASIK therapy came the realization that keratoconus affects more people than had been previously reported.
Today, Dr. Daniel Godefrooij reports the ratio of people suffering from KCN being 1 in 375. That’s more than 5 times as many people as researchers had originally found.
The cause of KCN is still mostly undetermined, but the development and progression of the disease have been heavily studied over time. Some research has suggested that chronic rubbing of the eyes may contribute to and possibly expedite the overall progression of the eye disease. The most common symptoms of keratoconus to be aware of include:
The plan of treatment for keratoconus will depend on the severity of the patient’s condition. Of utmost importance is early detection, as a recently FDA approved treatment called corneal cross-linking is now available to stabilize the condition. Mild KCN may be treated with the use of corrective lenses, such as eyeglasses or contact lenses. Moderate cases will likely require specialty contact lenses like gas permeable (GP), hybrids or scleral lenses to provide acceptable vision. However, severe forms of KCN may require more aggressive treatment methods such as a corneal transplant or Intacs Corneal Implants.
Keratoconus treatment focuses primarily on slowing the progression of the disease and improving vision. Essentially, there are three types of treatment to help with KCN symptoms which consist of corrective lenses, therapy, or surgery.
If you’ve been experiencing vision problems, it’s important to meet with your Reno optometrist to properly diagnose the issue at hand. You may be suffering from keratoconus and not even realize it. A licensed, trained optometrist can evaluate your vision problems, assess your eye health, and provide an effective method of treatment.
It may be necessary to consider eye surgery and specialty contact lenses to correct your vision problems caused by keratoconus. Dr. Bolenbaker at the Visionary Eye Center can help to develop a unique treatment plan that’s designed to suit your eye care needs.
It’s August, and that means it’s National Children’s Vision Month! Back-to-school season is also here, and there couldn’t be a better time than before your child returns to the classroom to take them to the eye doctor. One out of four school-age children suffer from some type of uncorrected vision problem, which can seriously impair their success in the classroom. Children are not always able to recognize by themselves that blurry vision or struggling to see near or far is actually a concern. And vision problems aren’t always issues with blurry vision, but rather eye alignment and focusing issues that lead to struggles in school, despite the fact they can see the classroom board clearly.
A routine school eye screening by an optometrist is necessary to detect vision problems and maintain overall optical health. You may have believed a school or pediatrician vision screening is enough. These are brief exams that evaluate visual acuity, the ability to read small letters or see a picture on a chart. These screenings are not comprehensive and can’t evaluate the way your child’s eyes work while reading or doing school work, nor can they adequately evaluate your child’s eye health. This means many vision problems aren’t detected, contributing to your child struggling in their academics or athletics.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, it’s recommended that children receive an eye evaluation once before the age of 3, and at least every one to two years until the age of 19. Preschoolers should see a pediatric optometrist to ensure their eyes are aligned and focusing properly to address developing issues and halt progress down the road. During adolescence, a person’s eyesight can change rapidly and often, especially impacted by puberty, so they should continue to receive annual checkups. Of added importance, detecting myopia early is key as we now have FDA-approved technologies like the MiSight lens to slow the progression of near-sightedness or myopia. So we can now actually do something about your child’s prescription getting worse every year using myopia control techniques.
Scheduling an eye exam with your child’s optometrist before school begins will ensure they start the school year with the best overall vision to succeed! It eliminates the concern that vision or eye health could be interfering with your child achieving their highest academic potential. Proper eyesight can also prevent headaches, fatigue, and lack of focus in the classroom. You should also have your child’s lens prescription checked and kept up-to-date, especially if they are active in team sports or have a new classroom seat each year. Being proactive in ensuring your child regularly visits an optometrist is essential. After all, they own their eyes for life!