Insightful view on Myopia prevention
( By Otis S. Brown July 15, 2003 )
Everyone wants change. But they always want SOME ONE ELSE TO DO IT FOR THEM.
I am willing to change. I am willing to accept the wearing of a +1 diopter lens when my focal status is between zero to +0.5 diopter -- for continuous wear of three to six months. I am willing to trust (Steve Leung) an optometrist with prevention mind to help my child with this unfamiliar "first step".
This means that the child would be kept in a +1.00 D, until the focal status rose to a value of +3/4 to +1.0 diopters. The child would see 20/40 through the lens, but the child could always look over the top for VERY SHARP 20/20 vision.
At this time, any OD who attempted this would get sued. Unless the parents are willing to understand this type of goal -- prevention BEFORE deterioration. Prevention in this manner is virtually impossible.
I was told when I was 8 years old that I was going to become nearsighted and nothing else was done -- and nothing was said.
I understand now that the ophthalmologist knew that a child at 0.0 diopter was going to be nearsighted. At that point, I should have been offered the use of the plus lens as described above. Now it makes perfect sense to me.
People say that "I do not want my kid to be wearing (plus) glasses at any time". [They are indeed intellectually "short sighted" on this issue.]
But what then happens? They get a minus lens, their eyes "adapt" to both the "near" environment and the minus lens and they wind up at -5.0 diopters or more
and they are now wearing GLASSES ALL THE TIME.
I would gladly accept the recommendation that my child wear a plus lens when the child's focal status was between 0.0 to +0.5, normal vision.
This would mean a GREATLY EXPANDED ROLE for an optometrist. They need to be "empowered" as we need to be "empowered".
But it is indeed going to require great "UNDERSTANDING" on the part of all of us.
Change is slow in engineering. But it is "public attitude" that is totally destructive as far as "PREVENTION" is concerned at this time.
I constantly get criticism that I am "against" optometrists. This is false. I sat with Dr. Raphaelson and I realized how much he "cared", and how much I "cared".
I then realized what "The Printer's Son" and his parents were going to do to Dr. Raphaelson if he attempted to help them by putting a "plus one" on their child's face when he has 20/20 -- for prevention.
I think that anyone who wants "PREVENTION" must understand these issues. And very few people will take the time for this type of UNDERSTANDING.
I regret it -- but that is the truth of the matter as I see it.