Although bifocals are most often associated with middle age and beyond, there is evidence that younger people can also benefit from bifocals. Recent research suggests that bifocals may be a better choice than standard lenses for nearsightedness among children with worsening myopia. This refractive error, which is characterized by clear near vision and blurry distance vision, is increasing worldwide. According to the National Eye Institute, rates of nearsightedness in Americans ages 12 to 54 has risen 66 percent over the past three decades. The good news is that by wearing bifocals, children with severe myopia were found to slow the rate of progression of their nearsightedness, perhaps by enhancing both near-distance vision and distance vision and by reducing eye strain. Experts estimate that the eyes gather 80 percent of all information received in a day, so any visual inefficiency has a major impact on a person’s functioning. Amblyopia can make it harder to read and catch a ball and other objects. It is important that parents schedule visual examinations for children at least by the age of 3 to diagnose any vision problem in its early stages. Myopia is associated with conditions such as glaucoma and cataract and is an important risk factor for retinal detachment.
Jul 27, 2012