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CONDITIONS

keratoconus

KERATOCONUS

Approximately 50 to 200 of every 100,000 people are afflicted with keratoconus.

In the USA, a study found a prevalence of 54.5 per 100,000 people (Kennedy et al, Am J Ophthalmol 1986; 100:267-73).

 

Keratoconus (KC) is a disease that affect all races and are characterized by a progressive protrusion and thinning of the cornea of both eyes. There is a genetic factor of less than 10%, as a general rule, but hereditary components of Keratoconus has not been clearly established. The reason for this is that other factors like allergies and contact lens wear makes analysis difficult.

 

People with Keratoconus cannot get best vision from spectacles because of the distortion in the corneal surface that scatters light and prevent a sharp image forming on the back of the retina. Here the optics of hard contact lenses has proved to improve the vision significantly and are therefore a more successful way of restoring functional vision than spectacles.

 

As the disease progresses it can lead to corneal scarring and hydrops click here to read more In these cases the only option to improve vision is to have a corneal transplant, especially if hydrops does not resolve. This said, if the cornea is still reasonably transparent although distorted and irregular, corneal transplants should be the last resort, as many people can have great functional vision for many years by simply wearing speciality contact lenses.

 

The best treatment available to stop the progression is corneal cross linking READ MORE . If the progression can be stopped or significantly slowed down, the need for corneal transplants is even less. This makes the wear of speciality contact lenses a successful lifelong option to provide adequate and even great functional vision. For this reason, corneal cross linking should be done as soon as possible. In teenage years when the conditions appears or even younger in children under 10 years old, if diagnosed this early.

 

There are hope and treatment options for Keratoconus and it does not have to mean blindness if detected early and the best treatment and management options followed.

 

Articles I have written on Keratoconus

Dry eyes

DRY EYES

Dry Eye Statistics

 

  • Currently between 16 million and 49 million Americans have dry eyes. This is between 5-15% of the population. [1]

  • Google trends for the topic “dry eye syndrome” have doubled between December 2010 and July 2020 [2]

  • A 2012 Gallup Poll suggested that 29 million Americans will suffer from the disease by 2022 [3]

  • 2004 data suggested that 4.88 million Americans over the age of 50 have dry eyes [4]

  • A large population study of over 79,866 people in Netherlands found that 9.1% had dry eye disease [6]

  • Global dry eye treatments are expected to top over USD$6.6billion by the end of 2027 [5]

[1] Source- USA General Population 2018 Cross Sectional Study and Census.gov Population Clock – accessed August 2nd 2020

[2] Source- Google Trends – accessed August 2nd 2020

[3] Source- Pharmacy Times– accessed August 5th 2020

[4] Source Physicians Health Studies. (2004 data for men and women)

[5] Future market insights: Dry Eye Syndrome Treatment Market 2016

[6] Source: Ocular Surface Journal

[7] Source: Cornea Journal

[8] TFOS DEWS II 2017 Epidemiology Report

Read more about Dry Eye in my article below and take the ODSI Questionnaire below to find out how severe your symptoms are. 

If your score shows moderate to severe dry eye, contact our practice for an appointment. 

Myopia

Myopia

Evidence is mounting that myopia is growing around the world, with a recent study estimating that on average, 30% of the world is currently myopic and by 2050, almost 50% will be myopic, that’s a staggering 5 billion people.[1]

 

Myopia or short-sightedness (condition where distance objects appear blurry) are affecting our children in epidemic proportions.

The fact that online learning with lockdown has caused our children to be inside and on devices more has also increased the prevalence of children showing up in my practice with signs of becoming short-sighted.

 

With every 1 Diopter increase in the prescription the prevalence of Glaucoma, retinal detachment and myopic maculopathy increases exponentially. Myopic maculopathy (MM) READ MORE, also known as myopic macular degeneration, is the most serious, irreversible, vision-threatening complication and the leading cause of bilateral visual impairment and blindness.

According to studies, Every 1D increase in myopia increases risk of myopic maculopathy by 67%.[2]

And with every 1D reduction in myopia, the risk of myopic maculopathy reduces by 40%.[2]

 

We, as optometrists, must change our mindset and our approach when seeing these children as prevention is better than cure.

No longer can we simply prescribe stronger spectacles, but we need to do everything in our ability as optometrists to use our skills to protect our children’s vision and at the bare minimum slog down the progression.

References

  1. Holden BA, Fricke TR, Wilson DA, Jong M, Naidoo KS, Sankaridurg P, Wong TY, Naduvilath TJ, Resnikoff S, Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050, Ophthalmology, May 2016 Volume 123, Issue 5, Pages 1036–1042.

  2. Bullimore MA, Brennan NA. Myopia Control: Why Each Diopter Matters. Optometry and vision science : official publication of the American Academy of Optometry. 2019;96(6):463-5. (link)

 

Find here a Report by die World Health Organisation and the Brien Holden Vision Institute on The Impact of Myopia and High Myopia done in 2015 and an article written by Prof. Jannie Ferreira on “Lockdown vision”.

Download Article on THE IMPACT OF MYOPIA & HIGH MYOPIA 

Download Article on THE LOCK DOWN SYNDROME CPD 

Contact our practice to make an appointment, so we can assess your child’s vision.

Children & eye strain

children and eye strain

What can cause Eye Strain?

 

There are more and more evidence that eye strain at near can cause our children to become Myopic. According to the NHS website of the UK, . Apart form this, our children can also experience eye strain because of their visual-motor integration that is under strain.

 

Read this Letter to parents and teachers form Prof. Jannie Ferreira regarding the importance of assessing your child’s vision, binocular vision and visual-motor integration.

Letter to parents and teachers

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