From November 20 to 26, 2023, the first National Myopia Week raises awareness about the prevention of this visual pathology, which even once established, can be slowed down. Update with Dr Véronique Kraft, ophthalmologist in Nancy and vice-president of the ophthalmologists’ union.
Myopia is a pathology that affects vision, through the deformation of the eyes, which then become incapable of seeing clearly from a distance. A visual blur affecting distance vision, which “develops mainly between 7 and 12 years old” recalls Dr. Véronique Kraft, ophthalmologist in Nancy and vice-president of the ophthalmologists’ union.
How to prevent myopia?
According to the doctor, it is possible to prevent myopia. “It’s a pathology that we are increasingly confronted with.” notes the specialist. And in particular because children spend too little time outdoors.
To prevent the onset of myopia, a child must “spends two to three hours a day outside, every day, whatever the weather” she insists. “Several hours every day and not nothing during the week and ten hours at the weekend, regularity is fundamental”. For what ? Because being outside pushes the child to look far away and allows the accommodation of his eyes to relax. “In addition, the body produces dopamine, thanks to natural light, which helps slow down myopia..
Avoid tablets and phones, but also the games console
For the doctor, other means of prevention must be known to parents. “The risk of myopia can also be significantly reduced by limiting screens, such as tablets and smartphones. I therefore tell parents to limit their use, just like that of portable consoles.” further specifies Dr. Kraft.
It also reminds you of the correct position to maintain when working seated. “The arms must be at 90°. The child should not stick his face to the writing or reading book. He must not bring the text closer or lower his head..
How to slow down already established myopia?
If myopia already affects a child, or begins in an adult, it is possible to fight against it with certain devices. “There are brake glasses, day lenses, night lenses and atropine drops” indicates the specialist.
“Glasses, which can be prescribed from the age of 6, must be worn twelve hours a day to be effective. They allow the shape of the eye to be corrected gradually, but are not covered. You have to count at least 200 euros for a pair, which can be a hindrance.” confides the doctor again.
Daytime lenses must also be worn for twelve hours, nighttime lenses at least seven hours. “But these are devices intended for older children.. The drops contain diluted atropine to freeze the accommodation of the eye. “This is an off-label treatment, covered, but which must be collected from a hospital pharmacy. I prescribe it to parents who cannot afford a pair of glasses for their child.” indicates Dr. Kraft, who adds that this medication can be added to glasses, if they are not sufficient to block the progression of myopia.
“Finally, remember that all these treatments to slow down myopia can be considered even in adults, because it can be serious for the eyes and lead to complications. she concludes.