Binocular Vision status also influences the development of myopia. If someone has an inward posture of their eyes (not an eye turn, but an esophoria) they are at a significantly higher risk of increasing the myopia rapidly. One needs to be extremely careful about prescribing minus lenses in these cases as they “eat up the minus” at an unbelievable rate. There are also cases of exophoria (outward posture of the eyes) and intermittent outward eye turning (most will see this at the end of the day). These people use the prismatic effect of the minus lens to help hold their eye posture inward so they do not need to do it themselves. The myopia increases in these cases as their eyes become “lazy” in wanting to go outward again. So, increasing the power of the lens, increases the prism effect and voila, you no longer have to “work” to hold your eyes inward.
When I see these cases, I recommend vision therapy. Vision therapy provides the necessary, meaningful opportunity for individuals to choose to use different tools in holding their eye posture together. In these cases, and in the cases above where the anti-fatigue lenses are used, vision therapy can be very beneficial in slowing down the development of the myopia. Vision therapy works very much in incorporating the entire body to align the vision. It incorporates posture, peripheral awareness, and increases a person’s ability to get out of their overly “focal” state and this is the mechanism in which vision therapy can help.
Vision therapy, offered at our Burlington optometry practice, is often also called behavioral optometry and there are psychological components that create myopia as well. Intense stress, anxiety, trauma can create myopia as well. I have had cases where a child has been +0.75 (farsighted, the perfect buffer prescription to prevent myopia…one does not want zero prescription at distance. +0.50 to +0.75 is ideal) at distance and seeing 20/20 uncorrected in both eyes and having a sudden change into myopia practically overnight, anywhere from -1.50 to -4.00. These cases have reported bullying at school, severe anxiety, sudden loss of a loved one, and head trauma. These cases benefit from vision therapy and very careful prescribing of the myopia as this is often functional, and not permanent.
For more information on myopia control, call us at 905-319-1066.