PPG Newsletter Issue No. 46

January 2, 2021

Safe and Creative Personalized Education (XXII)

Is Myopia Reversible?

By Dr. Jessica Xu

It is PPG’s seventh annual Keep Myopia Away in Digital Age campaign.  When we launched the campaign six years ago, many parents were surprised to learn from PPG’s campaign that myopia is preventable in most cases.  For a long time, the prevailing clinical view was that myopia was genetic and could not be prevented.  Many research evidences challenged this orthodox view in the past five decades.  The prevailing clinical view has changed gradually.  American Optometric Association (AOA) now states that even though the tendency to develop myopia may be inherited, its actual development may be affected by how a person uses his/her eyes, or visual behavior. (Note: The vast majority cases of myopia now days are school myopia, also known as simple myopia, visual stress-induced myopia or juvenile onset myopia, which usually develops during K-12 school years.  PPG’s campaign and this article address school myopia.)

 Many parents now ask if myopia is reversible.  While the current clinical view remains that myopia cannot be reversed, many researchers believe that myopia can be reversed based on the observations that the control of eye growth mechanism is evolutionarily conserved from birds to human and that the majority cases of myopia can be reversed in all animal models.  There are anecdotal reports of individuals reverse myopia and even regain normal vision, suggesting that human myopia can be reversed, at least to some extent.

Then why do the vast majority cases of human myopia not reverse?  The reason could be that actual development of human myopia is driven by how a person uses his/her eyes, or individual visual behavior. The complexity of individual visual behavior, compounded with individual difference in the tendency to develop myopia, makes it impossible to have a simple unified solution to a very complicated problem.  For the same reason, it is very difficult for an average person to correctly figure out problems in his/her visual behavior.  To make things more challenging, once a certain behavior becomes a habit, it is very difficult to change.  Personalized visual behavior consultation and early intervention could be answer to the dilemma.  In my own experience, newly myopic children have a much higher chance to reverse myopia if they seek personalized visual behavior consultation as soon as they become myopic.

Nonetheless, it is easier to prevent myopia than to reverse myopia.  It is always helpful for parents to remind their children of good visual hygiene:  Minimize screen time, take breaks during near-work, and have more outdoor activities.  For children with higher risk of developing myopia, it may be helpful to seek personalized visual behavior consultation before they become myopic.

Our children’s eyes are precious.  Let’s take good care of them.

About the author

Dr. Jing (Jessica) Xu is mother of two PUSD students. Active in the community, she has served on many community organization boards, including Yale Club of San Diego, PUSD Educational Technology Advisory Committee, Rancho Penasquitos Town Council, and PUSD Parents Group. Professionally, Dr. Xu is a consultant focusing on biotech and pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Xu also provides one-on-one consultation on personalized healthy visual behavior for newly myopic children to help them regain and sustain normal vision.

www.pusdparents.org

PUSD Parents Group (PPG) is a fast emerging nonprofit organization that seriously loves our Poway Unified School District (PUSD) and our community. We welcome all PUSD stakeholders within our community. Our mission is to strengthen the voice of our community. Our efforts are aimed at those who make change happen: PUSD parents, students, teachers and taxpayers. We highly value fiscal responsibility, accountability, transparency and all things that will demonstrate PUSD honesty and reliable communication with the community.