1. What parents should know about Myopia Care and Control Q&A

Myopia prevention and control questions and answers are divided into three parts: Myopia Knowledge Questions, Myopia Prevention Questions, and Myopia Intervention and Correction Questions. Here we will focus on myopia knowledge questions.

General Knowledge Questions

1. What is myopia?

Normal vision is defined as parallel light from a distance of 5 meters incident on a relaxed adjusted eye, clearly imaged on the macular central sulcus of the retina by the eye optical system, normal eye optical system depends on matching parameters such as refractive power of the eye and eye axis length.

Myopia is the result of parallel light rays from a distance of 5 meters being directed into the relaxed adjusted eye and then focused on the front of the retina through the eye’s optical system, forming a blurred image on the retina, which is mainly caused by the eye axis being too long, or the refractive power of the eye being too large, or the eye axis being out of the match with other optical parameters such as the refractive power of the eye.

Myopia can be classified as pre-myopia, low myopia, and high myopia.

2. What are the dangers of myopia?

The main manifestation of myopia is the lack of clarity in seeing far away, and it also tends to lead to dry eyes, fatigue in seeing objects, and bulging eyeballs. Myopia that progresses rapidly and at high levels may increase the chance of eye and fundus complications. If both parents are highly myopic, the risk of high myopia in their children will increase accordingly. Without effective policy intervention, the quality of the current and future population will be affected, and the world will face a huge shortage of a vision-compliant workforce in industries such as aerospace, precision manufacturing, and the military, where myopia is a problem that deserves attention.

3. What is the current status of myopia?

According to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), globally, myopia is the leading cause of distance refractive error, affecting 1.45 billion or 27% of the world’s population in 2010 (myopia being defined as more than or equal to 0.50 D of myopia). The number of people with myopia is expected to continue to rise both in absolute numbers and as a percentage of the population.

A study published in SpringerLink states that there are approximately 1950 million (28.3% of the global population) cases of myopia and they are predicted to increase to 4758 million (49.8% of the global population) by 2050.

Another study published in PMC states that the prevalence of myopia increased with age from 14.7% in 5- to 7-year-olds to 59.0% in 17- to 19-year-olds. High myopia also increased with age from 0.6% in 5- to 7-year-olds to 4.9% in 17- to 19-year-olds.

4. What kind of learning environment is conducive to eye health?

Children need good light in the learning process, the use of unreasonable light will bring adverse effects on children’s eyes. Parents should put their children’s desks in the best indoor lighting position, make full use of natural light for lighting when studying during the day, and pay attention to avoid direct light on the desktop. In addition to opening the desk lamp lighting at night, the room should also use the appropriate background auxiliary light source to reduce the difference between indoor light and dark, so that the desktop’s local light and the surrounding environment maintain harmony. Desk lamps should have a lampshade, placed in front of the opposite side of the writing hand, the light source should not shine directly on the eyes to avoid glare. Usually do not read and write in direct sunlight or dim light; do not lie on the bed or lie on the table to read; do not walk while reading, or read in a shaky carriage; do not use too fine a pencil, do not write too small words. When holding a pencil, the tips of your fingers should not be too close to the pen tip.

5. What is a farsighted reserve? What does it mean for the prevention and control of myopia?

In general, newborns are born with hyperopic eyes, and this physiological hyperopia is called hyperopic reserve. With growth and development, the hyperopia of children and adolescents eyes gradually decreases, and ideally, children develop from hyperopic to orthoptic eyes only after the age of 12. The hyperopic reserve is an important indicator to monitor the development of refraction. Due to early and excessive near-eye use, some children and adolescents have depleted their hyperopic reserve before the age of 6, and they are very likely to develop myopia in elementary school. Under normal circumstances, a 6-year-old child should have a farsighted reserve of +1.0 to +1.5 D. Taking children outdoors more often and reducing near-eye use can effectively protect the farsighted reserve.

6. Do I need to go to the hospital for an examination if I have occasional blurred vision?

When using electronic devices for a long time or using the eyes at close range, the eye muscles will be constantly working under tension, which may lead to blurred vision for a short period of time. If such symptoms occur only occasionally and there is no other discomfort or change, you can first relax and adjust by looking into the distance (>5 meters) or taking a walk outside to rest. If there is no improvement, or if there are symptoms such as visual field defects or darkness, you need to seek medical attention for appropriate examination and treatment.

7. Is it easy to be nearsighted when reading and writing for a long time?

Studies have shown that during the visual development of children and adolescents, high-intensity close-eye use is the most important factor influencing the high prevalence of myopia in the overall population. The closer and longer the eye is used, the heavier the load on the eye and the more damage it does to the eye. If we are in this state of regulatory tension for a long time, our eye muscles will go into spasm and induce myopia. When reading and studying, we should pay attention to rest at the right time. The maximum time for primary and secondary school students to use their eyes at close range should not exceed 40 minutes, and the younger the child, the shorter the recommended time for continuous eye use.

8. What phenomena occur to be alert to the emergence of myopia problems?

When a child reports that he or she can see clearly in the near but blurred in the distance, or when parents observe that the child is squinting, blinking frequently, habitually rubbing the eyes, frowning, or tilting the head to look at things, they should promptly take him or her to a professional medical institution for an eye examination, where they can choose to check the farsightedness reserve through dilated eye examinations, identify the length of the eye axis and corneal curvature, and make an accurate diagnosis. If myopia is diagnosed, scientific intervention and myopia correction should be carried out according to medical advice.

9. If I am myopic, do I have to wear glasses?

Determine that you have myopia and go to a professional institution for examination and correction. Generally, a myopia of 75 degrees or more and a bare-eye vision of less than 4.9 is recommended to wear appropriate glasses. For those with less than 75 degrees, glasses can be worn when the need arises. Whether or not to wear glasses needs to be determined in conjunction with a professional examination.

10. Will wearing glasses for a long time make my eyes more convex?

The cause of eye convexity is myopia, an increase in myopia, and the growth of the eye axis, which makes the eye look bulging. The convexity is not caused by wearing glasses for a long time. It is found that the eyes look somewhat distorted when wearing glasses, caused by the presence of certain narrowing imaging effects of myopic lenses.

11. Will myopia grow after the age of 18?

In general, myopia increases year by year with the growth and development of children and stabilizes around the age of 18, but there are individual differences, especially nowadays when electronic products are used more, some people’s myopia may still grow in adulthood, so they need to go to medical institutions for eye diseases such as glaucoma and pathological myopia. Pathological myopia has the possibility of lifelong growth.

12. Are children necessarily nearsighted if their parents are nearsighted?

Both parents are nearsighted, but children are not necessarily nearsighted, and the risk of myopia is greatly increased. Studies have shown that children with one myopic parent are 2.1 times more likely to develop myopia than children with non-myopic parents, and children with both parents are 4.9 times more likely to develop myopia. The increased probability does not necessarily mean that myopia will occur, but if the vision is well protected later in life, it can help reduce the probability of myopia. Myopia is influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Even if neither parent is myopic, myopia may occur in a child with an excessive eye load later in life.

13. What should I look for in high myopia? What are the hazards?

High myopia not only affects the appearance of the eye, due to the prolongation of the eye axis, causing the eye to bulge but also occurs as a result of the thinning of the eye wall, leading to pathological changes in the structure of the eye. People with high myopia wear frames with heavy lenses. High myopia is prone to a number of complications, such as retinal choroidal atrophy, retinal detachment, retinal splitting, macular fissure, high myopia choroidal neovascularization, posterior scleral chylomegaly, macular degeneration, macular anterior membrane, cataract, glaucoma, etc. High myopia accompanied by fundus complications, i.e. pathological myopia, is one of the main diseases leading to irreversible blindness and low vision, which should be taken seriously and attention should be paid to regular fundus examinations.

14. Turn on the phone “eye protection mode” can be used for a long time?

The “eye protection mode” is to adjust the color temperature and brightness of the cell phone screen, the screen spectrum to the yellowish warm color, and reduce the blue light emitted from the screen so that the screen is relatively less harsh. The biggest damage to the eyes of cell phones and other electronic products is the visual fatigue caused by long hours of close eye use. Therefore, cell phones and other electronic products even if you open the “eye protection mode”, long time use, and will not produce the imaginary effect of eye protection, not to mention the prevention and control of myopia.