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Myopia Management

Pediatricians and Ophthalmologists agree; It’s Best to Proactively Treat Your Myopic Children

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Given the rapid increase in childhood myopia being seen in the U.S., the American Academy of Ophthalmology and American Academy of Pediatrics recently updated their guidance on managing myopia in children. Both organizations now recommend children play outdoors more to delay the onset of myopia, and support proactive treatment of myopic children to reduce the progression and eye disease risk associated with higher myopia later in life.

What is Myopia?

Myopia causes blurry distance vision, which can be compensated for with glasses or contact lenses to provide a child with clear vision. However, myopia is caused by an eye that is growing too long and, once started, myopia usually gets worse in children as the eye continues to grow abnormally fast. Higher myopia increases the lifetime risk of serious eye diseases such as retinal diseases and glaucoma.

How Bad is the Myopia epidemic?

In late 2019, the American Academy of Ophthalmology created a Task Force on Myopia, recognizing the importance of this growing disease in children and the potential lifelong impact myopia has on individuals and society. This task force identified priorities of educating other physicians, working with government agencies and health agencies, and educating parents and schools about this issue so that more proactive steps can be taken to help children.

Treehouse Eyes Co-founder, Matt Oerding, was recently interviewed about the prevalence of myopia alongside Dr. William Reynolds of the American Optometric Association and Dr. Emily McCourt, the chief of ophthalmology at Children’s Hospital Colorado.”Over the last two decades, there’s been an increase in myopia or nearsightedness worldwide, not just in the United States. And that corresponds with an increase in near devices, especially digital devices,” Reynolds said. Watch the full interview by clicking here.

Myopia incidence is rising in kids. Less time spent outdoors and more time on near work such as reading and device use has led to higher instances of myopia. This is a global phenomenon that is most acute in developed countries, and current estimates state half the world’s population will be myopic by 2050.

Can Myopia be Stopped?

There is hope for parents, however, as several treatments are now available that can slow or even stop the progression of myopia in children. These treatments, usually involving a customized contact lens or prescription eye drops, are proven to slow down the elongation of the eye so a child’s vision does not deteriorate as quickly. Parents should talk to their eye doctor about their child’s risk for myopia and if their child is a good candidate for treatment.

You can prevent serious, sight-robbing eye diseases by scheduling your child’s myopia consultation with us today. Visit Pacific Rims Optometry and help your child’s quality of life improve before your eyes!

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3 Reasons Why Kids With Myopia Need to Spend More Time Outdoors

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Most parents are aware of the many benefits associated with children taking part in outdoor activities. The obvious benefits of fresh air and physical exercise aren’t the only perks for kids who play outdoors. Recent research shows that increased “sun time” can actually slow down the progression of myopia (often referred to as nearsightedness), or even postpone its onset!

But First, What Is Myopia and Why Is It Harmful?

Myopia is an eye disease that causes the eye to elongate more than it should, resulting in blurry distance vision. It’s caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, two of which are not spending enough time outdoors and doing excessive near work like device use.

Many parents aren’t aware that childhood myopia significantly increases the risk of developing serious eye diseases and conditions like glaucoma, retinal detachment, and macular degeneration later in life. It’s been shown that higher myopia is associated with a greater risk of eye disease.

That’s why it’s important to stop myopia in its tracks with myopia management.

3 Reasons Why Outdoor Play Benefits Your Child’s Eyes

Whether your child is currently nearsighted or not, spending time outdoors in the sunshine can help delay the onset of myopia or slow its progression.

The Brightness of the Sun

The sun’s visible light is significantly brighter than the lighting in almost any indoor setting, which may play a major role in controlling myopia.

Studies have shown that when sunlight comes in contact with the retina, it causes the release of dopamine into the eye. This may prevent the eye from elongating. Preventing the eye from growing too long is the main goal of myopia management.

What is certain: children who spend at least 2-3 hours playing outdoors in the sunshine progress less rapidly than children who spend almost all their time indoors.

Long-Distance Focusing

It is well established that prolonged near activities like reading and screen time contribute to myopia onset and progression. It’s no surprise that studies now show COVID-19 confinement may have caused higher rates of myopia in children as well.

Spending time outdoors, on the other hand, encourages your child to focus on distant objects like trees, basketball hoops, a ball flying through the air— anything that’s more than an arm’s length away.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps smooth muscle tissue around the eye’s crystalline lens allowing it to function properly.

This smooth muscle helps focus light on the retina, and may also help maintain the proper eye shape and length between the lens and the retina, which can become distorted as a child’s eyes grow with every passing year.

Moreover, the sun’s invisible UVB light triggers Vitamin D production. Some studies have found that nearsighted individuals have lower levels of Vitamin D than those with normal vision. However, more research is needed to solidify this claim, as only small-scale studies have been performed.

The recommended time for daily outdoor play is at least 2 hours for children over the age of 6. Be sure to send your child outside with a water bottle, sun hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

At Treehouse Eyes, our goal is to battle childhood myopia and preserve children’s eye health for the long term. We encourage parents to learn more about myopia and check out real stories from satisfied parents and children sharing their experiences with our professional doctors, staff, and myopia treatment protocols at Treehouse Eyes.

Prevent serious, sight-robbing eye diseases by scheduling your child’s myopia consultation today. Contact your local Treehouse Eyes provider today and see your child’s quality of life improve before your eyes!

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What Causes Myopia?

height glassesThe drastic increase in the number of children diagnosed with myopia during the past decade is astonishing — but is it surprising? Not really. When you analyze the causes of myopia, it becomes clear why more and more children are becoming affected by this progressive eye disease.

What Is Myopia?

Myopia, often referred to as nearsightedness, is an eye disease in which the eye elongates more than it should, causing light to be focused in front of the retina instead of on the retina’s surface. Essentially, your child’s eye is growing too long.

Because the eye elongates and grows with the rest of the body, naturally, it stops elongating once the rest of the body stops growing in early adulthood. This also means there may be times in a child’s development where they experience growth spurts—suddenly requiring a higher prescription due to an increase in their myopia.

The hallmark symptom of myopia is blurred distance vision, but it can also cause headaches, eyestrain, and difficulty seeing at night.

What Causes Myopia?

Several factors lead a child to develop myopia, including genetic, environmental, and even socioeconomic status.

Genetics

A child is more likely to be myopic if one of their parents is nearsighted or myopic as well. If both parents are myopic, those chances increase even greater. Be sure to get your child’s vision checked if you or your spouse are myopic.

Excessive ‘Near Work’

More than ever before, kids all over the world are focusing their eyes on near objects for the majority of their day, whether reading a book, using a smartphone, computer, tablet, or another device.

Numerous studies have shown that doing near work, especially in excess (more than 3 hours per day), contributes to the onset and progression of myopia.

Some findings suggest that the intensity and duration of near work are also important factors. For example, reading a captivating novel for 45 minutes straight will impact a child’s eyes more than skimming a magazine a few minutes at a time.

Not Enough Outdoor Time

Spending at least 2-3 hours outdoors has been shown to delay or prevent the onset of myopia in children. Make sure to send your children outside to play every day, especially if they’re at risk of developing myopia!

Other Risk Factors Associated with Myopia

  • Height — taller children and adolescents have a higher incidence of myopia than their shorter counterparts
  • Education level — There is a higher incidence of myopia in people with advanced degrees, as well as higher parental education levels.
  • Ethnicity — Individuals from Asian/Pacific Islander communities are more at risk of developing myopia.

If Your Child Has Myopia, We Can Help!

What many don’t realize is that myopia can seriously affect a child’s future eye health and vision. Having myopia in childhood significantly increases the risk of developing serious eye diseases and conditions like glaucoma, retinal detachment, cataracts, and macular degeneration in adulthood.

The good news is that myopia can be effectively managed to reduce the risk of future eye disease. At Treehouse Eyes, we offer the latest and most effective myopia management treatments to limit the progression of myopia so that your child can live his or her best life.

Check out real stories from satisfied parents and children sharing their experiences with our professional doctors, staff, and myopia treatment protocols at Treehouse Eyes.

Prevent serious, sight-robbing eye diseases by scheduling your child’s myopia consultation today. Contact your local Treehouse Eyes provider today and see your child’s quality of life improve before your eyes!

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5 Facts About Myopia You Probably Didn’t Know

myopia controlAs time goes on, chances are you probably know someone who has myopia – whether your child, a friend, family member or yourself. But how much do you really know about this eye disease?

Some parents expect that simply receiving a pair of glasses for their child is the only way of dealing with the effects of myopia. In truth, there’s much more to myopia and what you can do about it than meets the eye.

Below, we’ll explore 5 facts about myopia that may inspire you to be more proactive about your child’s eye health and long-term vision.

Myopia is an Eye Disease

Myopia is an eye disease where the eyeball grows too long, leading light to be focused in front of the retina instead of directly on it. Because the eye is elongated, incoming light doesn’t focus on the retina as it should, leading objects in the distance to appear blurry. As an example, If a normal eye is round like a basketball, a myopic eye would look more like a football.

Because the eye elongates and grows with the rest of the body, naturally, it stops elongating once the rest of the body stops growing in early adulthood. This also means there may be times in a child’s development where they experience growth spurts—suddenly requiring a higher prescription due to an increase in their myopia.

It’s More Common Than You Think

Myopia is an eye disease of epidemic proportions, affecting close to 2 billion people worldwide. If things don’t change, half of the world’s population will have some degree of myopia by the year 2050!

It’s a Progressive Condition

Myopia generally begins in childhood and progresses throughout the school-age years, usually stabilizing into the late teens.

Because the eye grows in tandem with the body, it’s only natural that it stops elongating once the rest of the body stops growing in early adulthood. This also means there may be times in a child’s development where they experience growth spurts and suddenly require a higher prescription. There are ways to effectively treat myopia in order to prevent it from progressing as the child grows. Slowing myopia early on can make all the difference to your child’s eye health as they age.

Myopia Puts Kids At Risk of Developing Future Eye Disease

Myopic children are significantly more likely to develop sight-threatening eye diseases and conditions, such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and retinal detachment later in life.

Children with high myopia have a 50% higher risk of developing glaucoma, are 3 times more likely to develop cataracts, and 6 times more likely to develop retinal detachment as adults than children who don’t have myopia.

Myopia is more than just a matter of clear vision — a child’s eye health is at stake. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Optometry and Vision Science noted that when parents provided their children with myopia management, the risks of developing myopic maculopathy fell by 40%.

Myopia Can Be Managed

At Treehouse Eyes, we know how important your child’s eye health is to you, and we’re here to help! We offer the latest and most effective myopia management treatments to limit the progression of myopia so that your child can live his or her best life. Check out real stories from satisfied parents and children sharing their experiences with our professional doctors, staff, and myopia treatment protocols at Treehouse Eyes.

Prevent serious, sight-robbing eye diseases by scheduling your child’s myopia consultation today. Contact your local Treehouse Eyes provider today and see your child’s quality of life improve before your eyes!

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Are Myopia Management Contact Lenses Safe for Children?

Mom Daughter Child Eye HealthWe meet dozens of parents and children every day who come in for eye exams, myopia treatments and other services. During these visits, we welcome and address questions or concerns that parents have about their child’s eye health.

Because certain myopia treatments include contact lens wear, many parents ask whether they’re safe to wear for young children. Here’s what the research says:

A recent study, Adverse Event Rates in The Retrospective Cohort Study of Safety of Paediatric Soft Contact Lens Wear: the ReCSS Study, shows that contact lenses for children are just as safe for children as they are for adults. (This study appears in the January 2021 issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics.)

The study followed 963 children aged 8 to 16 over the course of 1.5 to 3 years (for a combined 2713 years of contact lens wear time) to determine the risk level associated with wearing soft contact lenses. All of the subjects were 13 years of age or under at the time of their first fitting, with more than half of the children fitted with soft contacts at or before the age of 10, on average.

The study results indicate that age doesn’t play a role in contact lens safety. In fact, the risks of developing adverse reactions to contact lens wear among children proved to be the same as in adults. According to the study, the rate of inflammatory conditions associated with contact lens wear were less than 1% per year of wear.

Multifocal Lenses for Myopia Management

One effective method of myopia management includes the use of MiSight daily multifocal soft contact lenses. MiSight contact lenses are FDA approved for the treatment of myopia and have been shown to effectively slow down the rate of myopia progression.

Many parents like this method as it requires minimal maintenance; at bedtime, the child discards the pair they are wearing, and inserts a fresh pair in the morning. It also rids the child of the need to wear glasses during the day, allowing them to freely partake in sports and other activities.

The myopia management program at Pacific Rims Optometry can help preserve your child’s gift of sight for a lifetime. Treating your child’s myopia will give them clear vision today, while reducing their chances of developing sight-threatening eye diseases later in life.

it’s never too early to start treating myopia. Contact Pacific Rims Optometry in San Francisco today to schedule your child’s myopia consultation.

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FDA- Approved MiSight Contact Lenses Do Wonders in Reducing Myopia Progression!

If there is one thing that eye health professionals agree on, it’s that myopia is an eye disease of
growing proportions.

Having myopia as a child significantly increases the risk of developing sight-threatening conditions like macular degeneration, glaucoma, and retinal detachment later in life. Even children with low levels of myopia have a greater risk of glaucoma and retinal detachment compared to their non-myopic counterparts.

The good news is that slowing down the progression of myopia can drastically lower the risks of
developing eye disease later in life. Innovative products like MiSight 1-day contact lenses help
ensure a healthier future for myopic children.

As part of the Treehouse Eyes network, we are proud to be one of the first practices in the country to be certified to fit MiSight 1-day contact lenses for myopia treatment and be part of the Brilliant Futures Myopia Management Program.

CooperVision, which manufactures MiSight 1-day lenses, calls Brilliant Futures “the new standard of care” for children with myopia. “It provides inclusive practice, child and parent support to create the optimal environment for compliance, satisfaction, clinical outcomes, and long-term loyalty, all via a comprehensive management program featuring MiSight 1-day daily disposable contact lenses.”

What are MiSight 1-Day Contact Lenses?

MiSight 1-day contact lenses are soft lenses that are worn daily and disposed of after each use.
A fresh pair of contacts are placed into the eyes every morning to provide the child with a crisp and clear vision while also slowing the eye’s elongation — the source of progressive myopia.

These contacts are safe and easy for children to use since they require almost no maintenance.

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MiSight 1-Day Contact Lenses: A Popular Choice

CooperVision recently partnered with Sarah Michelle Gellar, a well-known American actress, entrepreneur and producer, to help spread awareness about the importance of myopia management and annual eye exams for myopic children.

The need for myopia management hit home for Gellar, who is myopic herself and has a child with myopia. “My husband and I are both nearsighted and our myopia has continued to worsen over time. We want our kids to have a chance for better vision and lower their risk for future eye health issues” explains Gellar.

While regular eyeglasses or contacts help children see a whiteboard or tennis ball, “MiSight 1- day lenses offer children the benefits of clear vision while slowing myopia progression during their growing years. That is why I am thrilled to be partnering with CooperVision on this campaign,” Gellar says.

Moreover, many parents are pleased to learn that MiSight 1-day contact lenses are FDA approved. In November 2019, the lenses received FDA approval to slow myopia progression in children who are 8-12 years old at the time of their first fitting — making MiSight 1-day contact lenses the only FDA approved soft contact lenses for myopia management!

We Are Proud to Be Part of the Myopia Management Movement

In addition to MiSight, our highly trained and experienced doctors can offer other treatment options to manage childhood myopia, including specialized overnight-wear contact lenses and prescription eye drops.

Contact us today to make an appointment for a myopia consultation for your child. We’ll evaluate your child’s eyes and vision and recommend a personalized treatment plan that will work best for your child and your family.

Let us help ensure a clear and bright future for your child!

What’s All the Buzz Around Myopia Management?

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Over the last few months, myopia management has been a hot topic in several major news and consumer publications. This extra attention is partly due to concerns that online schooling and increased screen time will impact children’s eye health. It’s also a result of the recent NIH-funded study confirming the effectiveness and importance of myopia management treatments in reducing the risk of developing sight-robbing eye diseases later in life.

Myopia occurs when the eye elongates more than normal, causing light to fall in front of the retina rather than on the retinal surface. The symptom of myopia is nearsightedness or blurry distance vision. Myopia is more than an inconvenience; rapidly progressing myopia drastically increases a child’s long-term risks of developing serious eye diseases. While most eye doctors only correct the blurred vision with prescription lenses, Treehouse Eyes doctors use myopia management to slow the progression of myopia.

Keep reading to find out why myopia management is gaining more attention and how it can help preserve your child’s eye health and vision.

What Are People Saying About Myopia Management?

If this is the first time you’re hearing the term “myopia management” you may be wondering what it is. In this June 2020 article, The Wall Street Journal recounts the experience of Raghu Parthasarathi, a father from Maryland, who calls the myopia management program “a godsend” after he witnessed the positive outcome following the treatment of his 11-year-old daughter’s rapidly progressing myopia.

But how is this “godsend” really impacting children’s visual health? In a Women Fitness article, Dr. Kevin Chan, Senior Clinical Director of Treehouse Eyes, explains that myopia isn’t merely poor visual acuity that needs to be corrected. Myopia can actually lead to serious eye diseases like cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachment later in life. Fortunately, the myopia management program at Treehouse Eyes can effectively slow down the progression of myopia, thus reducing the future risks of eye diseases.

What Can Parents Do for Their Myopic Children?

In August, as part of a tribute for children’s eye health and safety month, Indianapolis Fox-59 aired a short segment explaining the effects of COVID-19 restrictions on children’s vision. Although studies haven’t yet determined the exact link between increased screen time and the progression of myopia, numerous optometrists across the country are noticing a steep increase in the number of myopic children. It is estimated that a third of American children have some form of myopia, and that by 2050 about 50% of the world’s population will be myopic.

As a parent, you may find this statistic worrisome. The first step to take is to ensure that the child is evaluated by an optometrist on a yearly basis to check for changing prescription and eye health. If it is determined that the child has progressive myopia, a highly-trained and experienced Treehouse Eyes doctor will prescribe a customized myopia management program to mitigate the risks of future sight-threatening eye diseases.

Another thing parents can do is to ensure that myopic children (or those predisposed to developing it) increase the amount of time spent outdoors. “It’s well documented that lack of outdoor time actually contributes to the onset of myopia,” Dr. Chan tells WTOP News in a recent interview. He explains that “higher levels of screen time can lead to the onset of myopia and other eye-related changes, such as dry eye. Over the long run, it can lead to the onset of glaucoma, other retinal complications or cataracts.” As a general rule, children should take a brief break from screen time every 20 minutes.

Dr. Gary Gerber, a leading optometrist and co-founder of Treehouse Eyes, explained in a recent article published in EducationDive that “getting kids outside more has proven physical, mental and emotional benefits, and crucially….proven vision and eye health benefits as well.”

Treehouse Eyes Is Paving the Way In Children’s Myopia Management

We believe that the following statement from a PlanoMoms article sums it up perfectly:

“Treehouse Eyes is the first healthcare practice dedicated exclusively to treating myopic children. Children using the Treehouse Eyes patent-pending protocol, the Treehouse Vision System, show an average 78% reduction in the progression of their myopia (individual results vary).”

Our goal is to provide the highest level of care to all of our patients, using the most advanced and effective methods of myopia management. Join the growing number of parents who provide myopia management to their children by contacting us today.

Does Your Child Have Myopia? Send Them Outside!

Girl Smiling Grass Flower 1280×480 1024×384Myopia, more commonly known as nearsightedness, is a refractive error that affects millions of adults and children worldwide. This condition occurs when a person’s eyeball is too long, or the cornea or lens has an irregular shape. A myopic eye focuses the image at the front of the retina, as opposed to directly on the retina. it is often hereditary, especially if both parents are nearsighted.

Recent studies show that the more time spent outdoors can slow the onset or progression of myopia for reasons explained below. These findings are significant, as myopia can seriously impact eye health if left untreated. At The Myopia Management Center at Pacific Rims Optometry, we’re here to answer any questions you may have and ensure that your child’s myopia is under control.

How Does Spending Time Outdoors Benefit Myopia?

By spending time outdoors, children train their eyes to focus on distant objects and relax their eyes. Just as with any other muscle in the body, the muscles in the eye need to be trained and strengthened in order to produce clear vision. Experts further suggest that moderate exposure to sunlight has a positive impact on myopia and general eye health.

A recent study was conducted by the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry and Vision Science. The study shows that children who spend 1 extra hour outdoors each week reduce their risk of developing myopia by over 14%.

In contrast, according to the National Institute of Health, children who spend a considerable amount of time indoors watching TV or playing video games are at a significantly higher risk of developing nearsightedness.

Outdoor time should be incorporated into every child’s routine, especially those at risk of developing myopia. Parents and caregivers can make being outdoors fun by playing sports, hiking new trails, enjoying picnics or barbeques, or organizing scavenger hunts.

Why Is Slowing Myopia Progression So Important?

Myopia generally worsens over time, mostly during childhood and into the adolescent years. If your child’s prescription regularly increases, this can lead to more serious complications. Myopia progression heightens the risk of developing other eye conditions and disorders, such as cataracts, glaucoma, or retinal detachment. In more severe cases, permanent vision loss — or even blindness— may occur.

This is why it is crucial to monitor your child’s condition with a yearly visit to Dr. Selena Chan. Not sure whether your child has myopia? Refer to the following list.

Signs of Myopia in Children

Children with myopia may exhibit any of the following:

  • Squinting when reading the board or watching TV
  • Lack of interest in playing sports that require distance vision
  • Positioning oneself at close proximity to the TV or screen
  • Sitting at the front of the classroom to clearly see the teacher and board
  • Holding books close to the eyes

If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms or if you’ve noticed some of these behaviors, give outdoor time a try and bring him or her in to The Myopia Management Center at Pacific Rims Optometry for a comprehensive eye exam. We offer evidence-based myopia management treatment to slow down the progression of nearsightedness, thus preventing severe vision loss later in life.

The Myopia Management Center at Pacific Rims Optometry provides myopia management and other treatments to patients in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, San Mateo, and throughout California.

REFERENCES:

Centre for Ocular Research & Education

National Institutes of Health

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Perfect Vision is The Perfect Gift: Ortho-K

girl holiday gifts blog imageAs the holidays approach, most of us have one thing at the top of our to-do lists: gift shopping! This holiday season, give the gift of perfect vision that will have your loved one thanking you every morning. If you or anyone in your family has myopia (nearsightedness), there is no better gift than Ortho-K lenses.

What is Ortho-K?

Orthokeratology (commonly referred to as Ortho-K, corneal reshaping contact lenses or corneal refractive treatment) is a process that uses specialized gas-permeable lenses to safely and gently reshape the cornea (the clear front surface of the eye), by having them worn overnight and removed in the morning. Doing so provides clear vision all day long without the need to wear lenses or glasses. This FDA-approved method of vision correction is suitable for children and adults, is a safer alternative to LASIK, and can be used for myopia, astigmatism, hyperopia (farsightedness), and occasionally presbyopia (farsightedness due to aging).

Give the Gift of Ortho-K

Children and adults with mild to moderate myopia or those who cannot undergo LASIK or other refractive surgeries (for a variety of reasons) are excellent candidates for Ortho-K. Believe us — they’ll be grateful for this gift!

Ortho-k is not only effective for correcting refractive errors but is also great for slowing the progression of myopia in children — rendering it a particularly meaningful gift for a child. By slowing the progression of myopia, you can greatly reduce your child’s risk of developing serious eye conditions and diseases later in life, such as cataracts, glaucoma, or retinal detachment.

While you can’t wrap this gift up in a box, with Ortho-K, your loved ones will truly SEE the difference!

The myopia management program at The Myopia Management Center at Pacific Rims Optometry is dedicated to improving your child’s eye health. Call us with any questions you may have – we’re here for you.

Dr. Selena Chan provides myopia management and other services for patients in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and San Mateo, and throughout California.

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