Myopia is an eyesight issue on the rise in children worldwide. For a long time, scientists thought it was just the result of genetics. Specifically, if your parents had myopia, it was believed that you were more at risk of developing it too.
But new studies have shown that myopia is also closely linked to lifestyle and visual contrast. So, how does contrast affect myopia?
The first step to understanding the link between myopia and contrast is understanding what those two terms even mean.
Myopia is a common vision problem that causes far-away objects to appear blurry while close-by things can remain clear and defined.
This is typically caused by your eyeball having an unusually elongated shape. Indeed, this causes light entering the eye to focus in front of the retina. This leads to blurry vision, especially while looking at far-away objects.
If your children have myopia, they could have trouble seeing the classroom board clearly, and distinguishing faces from far away, which could impact their academic development. An important issue, which can also be progressive, as myopia tends to get worse throughout childhood years.
Contrast is the ability to distinguish every detail from a small object. It lets you see shapes and patterns and identify two things of the same color side by side.
While the two seem entirely unlinked, It has been shown that contrast could be important to understanding myopia(1).
So, if vision is linked to contrast, how does that affect the prevalence of myopia in kids?
Well, myopia, as we said before, is caused by the elongation of the eye, which causes the light entering the eye not to reach the right places, causing blurry vision.
Contrast theory has revealed that high retinal contrast overstimulates the retina to signal the eye to elongate. And what are the perfect examples of high retinal contrast? Near work reading, computer screens.
By managing this contrast, we could lower the signal driving the eye to grow and slow the progression of myopia.
Now that we have identified what contrast is, here are some tips for managing it.
A straightforward way to manage contrast in your child’s daily life is to have them spend more time outside. Getting some sunshine, playing outdoor sports, and limiting screen time may benefit your child’s vision development.
Incorporating lifestyle changes is always beneficial for children. However, for kids with myopia, new ways exist to prevent its progression, notably thanks to Diffusion Optics Technology™ lenses.
A pioneer in myopia and contrast management, Diffusion Optics Technology™ lenses integrate light scattering elements into the lenses, softening contrast at all distances.
A technology that has clinically proven effects in slowing down myopia progression in children between 6-10 years old (2).
Myopia can seem complicated to manage for any parent with a troubled vision kid. However, thanks to new technology such as the Diffusion Optics Technology™, managing it to help ensure that your child has fewer vision issues in the future may now be possible. Contact your eye care professional and learn more about Diffusion Optics Technology™!