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Located on North Main Street across from the Va. Tech campus

Located on North Main Street across from the Va. Tech campus

Home » Myopia Control / Ortho-K » What you need to know if your child is Nearsighted

What you need to know if your child is Nearsighted

What you need to know if your child is Nearsighted

First- Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is a common problem leading to blurred vision for objects far away. For kids, seeing the chalkboard in class becomes difficult and spotting a fly ball while in outfield, tough and possibly a little dangerous. Myopia usually results from the eyeball growing too long during childhood, so light focuses in front of, rather than on the back surface of the eye, the retina.

Second- Heredity is a significant factor in your child’s chances of developing myopia. If both parents are nearsighted, the odds are six times greater that their children will be nearsighted, compared to if neither parent is.

Third- More and more people are becoming myopic. In the early 1970’s 25% of North Americans were myopic. Today the prevalence is roughly 40%. In some parts of the world- in Asia for example- myopia is reaching epidemic proportions with over 80% of teens in some countries being myopic.

Fourth- Children who spend significant time outdoors, in natural light, focusing on distant objects have a lower risk of becoming myopic than kids who spend their time indoors glued to digital devices. Getting your kids outside to play – a couple of hours a day is a goal to shoot for - seems to be a real factor in lowering your children’s risk of becoming myopic. This is especially true before myopia develops, although we’re not sure if it’s due to the light, the distance rather than near focusing, the richness of the visual environment (variations in sizes, textures, colors, brightness, distances, movement, etc..) or a combination a many factors.

Fifth- Myopia is more than just the inconvenience of needing to rely on glasses or contact lenses to see clearly at a distance. Many complications later in life are associated with myopia, including:

  • Cataracts- clouding of the lens of the eye. This is very common as one reaches their 60s, 70s and beyond, but often begin sooner in more myopic individuals.
  • Glaucoma- damage to the optic nerves frequently associated with increased pressure in the eye. Nearsighted individuals are 2 to 3 times more likely to develop glaucoma- a disease that can lead to serious vision loss.
    Detached Retina or retinal holes or tears - The more nearsighted a person is, the longer and more stretched their eye is, on average. This leads to the retina being thinner, more fragile and more prone to damage and potential permanent vision loss.

Sixth – There are now approaches to manage the development of myopia, and often control it to the point of reducing eye health risks. See our other pages in this section for more information on these new therapies.

A Testimonial from one of our Patients:

SteveJacobs Grace testimonialMy daughter Grace is now in her 3rd year of Ortho-K treatment with Dr. Jacobs. We are very happy with our experiences working with the doctors and the friendly staff.

When she began, a number of designs were necessary, particularly for her right eye, due to the shape of her cornea. The doctors eventually consulted with an expert colleague in NJ in order to produce a mold that worked great for that eye. We really appreciate that there were never any additional charges even as additional molds were ordered to get it just right.

This year, Grace's left eye corrected vision got worse. Dr. Jacobs redesigned the lens and it was a success at the first try! Grace got 20/20 vision in both eyes and her degree of myopia has stayed the same over the past 2 years! One of our primary goals when we started Ortho-K was to slow down the progression of her myopia. We are very happy that it has worked! Another thing we really appreciate working with these doctors is that they are very patient and helpful in answering all our questions. They also allow us to see the cool pictures of the corneal topography and show us the comparisons from the past images to current image. The staff is very welcoming and helpful as well! We enjoy our visits there!

Claire Shen - Grace's Mom


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Protecting our Patients from Coronavirus Disease Outbreak

Making sure our patients and staff are safe is our top priority. While the risk of getting the COVID-19 in the US is currently low, we know many patients are concerned about the spread of Coronavirus.

Our Promise to Our Patients:

We understand the obvious concern that coronavirus has brought to the area. We want to make you aware of the steps we are taking to protect our patients and team members in this time of uncertainty.

We request the following of patients:

  1. If you have traveled in the last 14 days to a country other than the U.S. where coronavirus has been diagnosed, or to any area in this country that has had a number of cases of concern (eg, Seattle, DC-NY metro area, parts of CA, etc…) please call the office to reschedule your appointment for next month or beyond.
  2. If you have any symptoms that mimic that of the coronavirus, which includes a fever or respiratory symptoms, including a cough, please call and reschedule your appointment at least 14 days from now.
  3. If you suspect that you have had direct contact with people who have been around any of the people who have tested positive for the coronavirus, please call us to reschedule your visit beyond 14 days from now.
  4. Remember to follow basic hygiene guidelines to avoid the spread of germs, which includes washing your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.

Our staff will also follow these guidelines and will not be present at work if they exhibit any of the above-mentioned symptoms:

  1. Any eye doctor or team member who is sick is staying home
  2. We sanitize every piece of equipment after each use and again at the end of the day (as part of our precautions we always adhere to).
  3. We will sanitize all patient contact surfaces between every patient.
  4. Our team washes their hands often throughout the day
  5. If we don’t shake hands with our patients during this time, please don’t take it personally.
  1. Please call us with any questions or concerns, and if you feel it best for you or your family member to reschedule your appointment, feel free to do so.
  2. We do expect this to be an ongoing situation in our area for an extended period of time, and do not want our patients to neglect their eye care needs during this time. We will continue to give recommendations based on the evidence we have on safe delivery of eye care in a time of uncertainty.

For the most up-to-date information on treatments, FAQs, news and more, please visit the following official health organizations:

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) at

World Health Organization (WHO) at

Thank you for helping us to protect all of our patients.

Drs. Jacobs, Steckenrider and Staff