Myopia is an eye disorder much more common among Western literate peoples. It is also known as nearsightedness, while farsightedness is known as hyperopia. Myopia is a very common ocular problem, affecting perhaps one billion people worldwide. Prevention is partially possible by avoiding reading closely for prolonged periods during childhood and eating a healthy diet with plenty of fish and fresh vegetables. Children who spend the most time outdoors are the least likely to suffer. Being outdoors exposes children to different lighting conditions and they look at distant objects instead of near objects. Both of these factors may have an effect on the risk of myopia.
Have children play outdoors to reduce risk
It's not clear what it is about being outdoors that might affect vision -- exposure to sunlight, forcing the eye to focus on objects a varying distance away, exercise, or a combination of these factors.
Recent epidemiological studies suggest that increased
outdoor time is an important modifiable environmental factor that protects young
children from myopia. This protective effect may be due to high light intensity
outdoors, the chromaticity of daylight or increased vitamin D levels.
Natural Supplements for myopia treatment - nutrition for eye health
The lens, retina, macula, and other parts of the eye involved in eyesight can be protected with the proper intake of antioxidants. Almost all the antioxidants likely have a positive influence on eye health. Of particular importance are vitamins C, E, selenium, and the carotenoids found in fruits and vegetables. Two particular carotenoids, called lutein and zeaxanthin, play an important role in protecting eye tissue in the macula from damage by free radicals, and perhaps partially help prevent myopia or reduce myopia severity progression. Corn, eggs, green leafy vegetables, peppers, red grapes and pumpkins are some of the foods rich in lutein and zeazanthin. You can also find carotenoids and flavonoids in many herbs, including milk thistle and bilberry. Interestingly, bilberry contains anthocyanosides that could be beneficial in myopia. Fish oil supplements are helpful since the retina needs the important fatty acid DHA for optimal visual acuity.
Improve myopia naturally
I am glad to report that the proper use of many nutrients can help restore, at least partially, the magic of seeing that you may have long forgotten existed. After you try some of these myopia supplements, you may even take an eyesight test on a Snellen chart to see if your myopia is better. I have formulated a product called Eyesight Rx that not only provides proper nutrition for eye health, but it also improves myopia in some people, often within days.
Eyesight Rx helps improve visual acuity
Unlike some vision products that provide nutrients and herbs for long term healthy eyesight support, and prevention of visual impairment, but don't seem to have much of an immediate effect on visual acuity, Eyesight Rx was formulated to provide a quick and noticeable eyesight improvement within hours or days of use.
Reports from users indicate enhanced clarity of vision, colors being brighter, better focus, and overall improvement in close and distance vision. We've had reports of some people noticing this effect within hours, while most people notice improved eyesight within days. Taking fish oil supplements along with this product provides even more benefits.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)
Citrus bioflavonoids (eriocitrin, hesperidin, flavonols, flavones, flavonoids, naringenin, and quercetin)
Mixed carotenoids (astaxanthin, beta carotene, cryptoxanthin, Lutein, Lycopene, Zeaxanthin)
Bilberry extract (Vaccinium myrtillus) contains anthocyanins which protect the retina.
Eyebright extract (Euphrasia officianales)
Jujube extract (Zizyphus jujube)
Ginkgo biloba plant extract
Mucuna pruriens extract (Cowhage)
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
Lycium berry extract (Lycium Barbarum)
Sarsaparila (Sarsaparilla Smilax)
Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant that enhances glucose use in brain and eye cells.
Eyesight Rx is not a myopia cure. Improved visual acuity continues a couple of days after stopping its use. Vision will likely return to baseline levels after a few days of stopping. Therefore this product cannot be considered a myopia cure.
Low Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Is Associated with Myopia in Korean Adolescents. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2014 Jan 30.
Optom Vis Sci. 2011. Blood levels of vitamin D in teens and young adults with myopia are lower.
Cause of myopia and to treat it naturally - prevention
Close reading for prolonged periods, or computer work, increases the risk or is a cause of myopia in a child. Myopia is rare among indigenous illiterate populations who do not spend time reading. Contrary to popular belief, people in east Asia are no more genetically susceptible to eye myopia than any other population group.
There is little doubt about at least one underlying cause. Children now spend much of their time focusing on close objects, such as books and computers. To compensate the eyeball is thought to grow longer. That way less effort is needed to focus up close, but the elongated eye can no longer focus on distant objects.
Children who are breastfed are less likely to have myopia. Therefore, formula feeding could be considered a cause of myopia. Docosahexaenoic acid or DHA, a substance found in breast milk, could be the main element that improves early visual development in babies, resulting in more ordered eyeball growth which then reduces the development or severity of myopia. Myopia is the most common eye problem. It affects as much as 40 percent of the population in the United States and Europe but between 70 and 90 percent of some Asian populations such as Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong. DHA is important for the development of photoreceptor cells in the retina, which play a major role in whether children become short sighted. Researchers studied 797 children aged between 10 to 12 years in Singapore as part of the survey. They were given medical tests and also had to answer a series of questions including the number of books they read per week. The study, led by the Singapore Eye Research Institute, found that the risk of myopia in a child who was breastfed is 0.6 times that of child that was not, even after taking other factors into account. While genetic variation was seen to be the culprit of myopia among children, soaring rates of the condition have led more researchers to believe it is the rise in watching television, playing computers games and reading that is to blame.
Children who spend the most time outdoors are the least likely to suffer from myopia which has become increasingly common in recent decades, with more than 80 percent of people in some highly-educated groups being nearsighted. This eye condition is much more common among children and teenagers today than it was about 40 years ago, but spending more time outside could help reverse this trend. Reading for prolonged periods may cause nearsightedness.
A gene basic to the development of the eye may also hold the key to myopia and eyesight. Findings reinforce the still-debated idea that some children are born susceptible to being nearsighted, and that too much reading or close work can encourage its development. The gene, called PAX6, may be involved in the growth of the eye, the researchers at St. Thomas' Hospital in London said. "It may well be that too much close work may be bad for eyesight, particularly if you have a susceptibility," said Dr. Chris Hammond, who helped lead the study. "We know ... that what makes one person shortsighted and another person longsighted is a genetic difference between them rather than any difference in environment. But we also know environmental effects are powerful and close work is the culprit."
Higher levels of education are associated with a greater risk for nearsightedness. People who are nearsighted have trouble seeing things in the distance. The researchers said this is the first population-based study to suggest that environmental factors may be more important than genetics in the development of nearsightedness, formally known as myopia. Ophthalmology, news release, June 26, 2014.
The epidemics of myopia are due solely to changes in lifestyle. As kids spend more time indoors, on computers or watching TV, there will be more cases of myopia. Myopia is on the increase in most places, but in countries such as Singapore it has reached extraordinary levels. There, 80 per cent of 18-year-old male army recruits have myopia, up from 25 per cent just 30 years ago. Employers such as the police are having problems finding people who meet their requirements. There is also an increasing incidence of severe myopia, which can lead to blindness.
During a 13 year study from 1990 to 2002, the prevalence of myopia significantly increased among the Israeli population. Although there was an association with the level of education, gender, ethnicity, and origin, the prevalence increased on an annual basis, independent of these factors.
Risk or danger
Besides the direct economic and social burden of myopia, associated ocular complications may lead to substantial visual loss. Myopic patients have a higher risk of posterior subcapsular cataract, cortical and nuclear cataract. Patients with high myopia (spherical equivalent at least -6.0 D) are more susceptible to ocular abnormalities. The prevalent risks of glaucoma are higher in myopic adults, and risks of chorioretinal abnormalities such as retinal detachment, chorioretinal atrophy and lacquer cracks increase with severity of myopia and greater axial length. Myopic adults are more likely to have tilted, rotated, and larger discs as well as other optic disc abnormalities. The detection and treatment of possible pathological ocular complications is essential in the management of high myopia. The ocular risks associated with myopia should not be underestimated and there is a public health need to prevent the onset or progression of myopia.
Optometry. 2012. Current status on the development and treatment of myopia. This is a review of the current literature describing the effect of atropine, bifocals, and/or contact lenses on slowing the progression of myopia. Cumulative data from a number of studies have demonstrated atropine instilled once a day in myopic eyes resulted in a 90% average reduction of myopia progression, as compared to untreated eyes, i.e., from 0.50 D/year to 0.05 D/year. Pirenzepine, a muscarinic pharmacological agent, has a minimal effect on pupil size and accommodation, and it has been shown to slow myopia by 44%. Bifocals and progressive lenses, which have been used for years to slow the progression of myopia, have recently been shown to produce, on average, only small, clinically insignificant treatment effects. However, their effectiveness is increased in children who are esophoric and have a large lag of accommodation, reducing myopia progression to between 0.25 and 0.40 D/year. Traditional correcting soft and gas permeable contact lenses, as well as novel spectacle lens designs, have not been shown to be effective in reducing myopic progression. Under-correction of the refractive error has been shown not only to be ineffective in slowing myopia, but has also been associated with an increased rate of myopia progression. Orthokeratology, using reverse geometry designed lenses, has been shown to be moderately effective in decreasing the progression of myopia by between 30 to 50% in a number of short-term, well-controlled studies, reducing myopia progression to between -0.25 and -0.35 D/year. Recently, there have been pilot studies using novel peripherally correcting soft contact lenses to slow the progression of myopia. Two of those lens designs have been shown to be moderately effective in slowing the progression of myopia, both of which had a 30% efficacy, reducing myopia progression to 0.35 D/year. In summary, myopia control is entering a new era with the use of contact lenses and pharmaceutical agents to effectively slow its progression with minimal side effects.
Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013 Dec 9. Progressive myopia or hyperopia can be induced in chicks and reversed by manipulation of the chromaticity of ambient light. Rearing chicks in red light caused progressive myopia, while rearing in blue light caused progressive hyperopia. Light-induced myopia or hyperopia in chicks can be reversed to hyperopia or myopia, respectively, by an alteration in the chromaticity of ambient light. Manipulation of chromaticity may be applicable to the management of human childhood myopia.
Refractive status of indigenous people in the northwestern Amazon region
Optom Vis Sci. 2005.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the refractive status of the illiterate indigenous people of the upper Rio Negro region of the Amazon rain forest in northwestern Brazil. From an overall sample of 486 people, 259 indigenous people and 78 Brazilians between 12 and 59 years of age with no compromising optical opacities were refracted with cycloplegic retinoscopy. Subjects were categorized as indigenous if they had at least three generations of indigenous ancestry with no folklore suggesting other ancestors. Myopia was rare among the indigenous population. The low prevalence of myopia in the illiterate indigenous people is consistent with other studies and suggests that myopia is related to literacy. The generational change among the local mixed race Brazilians further supports this conclusion. The relatively high rates of astigmatism and anisometropia in the indigenous people were unusual for a predominantly emmetropic sample.
Purified high-dose anthocyanoside oligomer
administration improves nocturnal vision and clinical symptoms in myopia
Br J Nutr. 2005. Institute of Vision Research, Department of Ophthalmology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of purified high-dose anthocyanoside oligomer administration on nocturnal visual function and clinical symptoms in low-to-moderate myopia subjects. The study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial and involved sixty subjects with asthenopia and refractive errors between -1.00 and -8.00 diopters in both eyes. Thirty subjects were administered a purified high-dose anthocyanoside oligomer (100 mg tablet comprising 85 % anthocyanoside oligomer), and thirty were given a placebo in tablet form twice daily for 4 weeks. Prior to the treatment, the placebo and anthocyanoside groups were similar in terms of age and contrast sensitivity. Following treatment, twenty-two (73 %) anthocyanoside subjects showed improved symptoms, whereas only one placebo subject showed an improvement. Contrast sensitivity levels according to each cycle per degree significantly improved in the anthocyanoside group and remained stable in the placebo group. The present data show that the administration of anthocyanoside oligomer appears to improve subjective symptoms and objective contrast sensitivity in myopia subjects with asthenopia.
Role of astigmatism in the creation of myopia
Klin Oczna. 2003.
To determine, whether the presence of astigmatism has an influence on the creation of myopia. A total of 167 people with myopia (117 women and 50 men) of the age between 12 and 51 were examined. The overall average age was 24. Routine ophthalmological examinations, keratometry as well as refractometry were carried out. The data was analysed using the coefficient of rang Spearman's correlation and the coefficient of linear Pearson's correlation. RESULTS: A negative correlation was found between the corneal astigmatism and myopia progress. A positive correlation was observed between total astigmatism and myopia. CONCLUSIONS: Corneal and total astigmatism predisposes the progress of myopia.
Prevalence rate of myopia in schoolchildren in rural
Optom Vis Sci. 2006. Aston Academy of Life Sciences, Neurosciences Research Institute, Aston University, Birmingham United Kingdom.
The prevalence of myopia among some young Asian populations has been reported to be increasing to near epidemic proportions. Mongolia is an emerging Asian economy with limited ophthalmic resources. The purpose of this study was to define a level of myopia for school-aged children in rural Mongolia. A total of 1057 schoolchildren, aged between 7 and 17 years, were examined in two remote, rural suums (districts) of Mongolia: one situated in the western aimag (province) of Khovd and the other in the central steppe's aimag of Zavkhan. The total prevalence of myopia (more than -0.5 D spherical equivalent) was 5.8%. Female students exhibited a significantly higher prevalence of myopia in comparison to male students: 8% compared with 3%, respectively. The prevalence rate of myopia in Mongolia is low in comparison to other Far Eastern countries.
Refractive status of indigenous people in the
northwestern Amazon region of Brazil.
Optom Vis Sci. 2005. Thorn F, Cruz AA, Machado AJ, Carvalho RA. New England College of Optometry, Boston, Massachusetts
The purpose of this study was to investigate the refractive status of the illiterate indigenous people of the upper Rio Negro region of the Amazon rain forest in northwestern Brazil. From an overall sample of 486 people, 259 indigenous people and 78 Brazilians between 12 and 59 years of age with no compromising optical opacities were refracted with cycloplegic retinoscopy. Subjects were categorized as indigenous if they had at least three generations of indigenous ancestry with no folklore suggesting other ancestors. Myopia was rare among the indigenous population. Only 2.7% of eyes showed myopia of -1.00 D or more and 1.6% (four people) had bilateral myopia of -1.00 D or more. Half of this small group were the only educated indigenous people examined. The low prevalence of myopia in the illiterate indigenous people is consistent with other studies and suggests that myopia is related to literacy. The generational change among the local mixed race Brazilians further supports this conclusion. The relatively high rates of astigmatism and anisometropia in the indigenous people were unusual for a predominantly emmetropic sample.
Myopia is a refractive error of the eye that has a significant socioeconomic impact due to its increasing prevalence and the fact that it causes visual impairment. Its aetiology is complex and is likely to involve the interaction of environmental and genetic influences. Tight environmental influence is exemplified by defocus-induced myopia produced in animal models, while genetic factors predominate in familial occurrence of myopia with a Mendelian inheritance pattern. The involvement of numerous mediators, such as cytokines, neurotransmitters and transcription factors, in myopia development has been indicated through various lines of investigation, particular interest focussing on scleral extracellular matrix proteins and developmental genes of the eye.
Most myopia is produced by lengthening of the vitreous chamber of the ocular globe. High myopia is characterized by scleral thinning and localized ectasia of the posterior sclera. The sclera is a dense, fibrous, viscoelastic connective tissue that forms the outer coat of the eye and consists of irregularly arranged lamellae of collagen fibrils interspersed with proteoglycans and non-collagenous glycoproteins. Scleral fibroblasts are located between scleral lamellae, and are responsible for synthesizing the extracellular matrix in which they reside. The sclera is not a static container of the eye, but rather is a dynamic tissue, capable of altering extracellular matrix composition and its biomechanical properties in response to changes in the visual environment to regulate ocular size and refraction.
Topiramate, a new anticonvulsant, is also used for the prophylaxis of migraine and cluster headache. A serious but not often discussed side effect of the drug is the development of acute myopia and acute angle-closure glaucoma in the early stage of therapy that subsides rapidly with prompt discontinuation.
natural treatment emails
Have you heard of any supplements or Rx meds that improve eyesight, particularly night myopia?
We are not aware of any supplements that cure night or severe myopia but some nutrients such as fish oils, carotenoids, flavonoids, ginkgo, can help improve vision.
Q. Dr. Sahelian, do have an opinion on the effect of
glasses on the progression of myopia?
A. I have not studied this area in detail, but to the best of my understanding, wearing glasses certainly doe snot help the possibility of improving myopia, but whether it makes it worse I am not as certain.
Q. Thanks for responding I know there is a nutritional approach to preventing or improving myopia as well as an optical one (i.e. avoid close work). I am running a campaign to raise awareness of the effects of glasses on the eyes. My message is that myopia can be improved, but that glasses as traditionally prescribed limit the chances of
improvement and will make vision worse if the initial cause of myopia is not removed. Patients should be made aware of these facts before getting their glasses prescriptions. I am looking for doctors of the opinion that there is evidence that eyeglasses prescribed for myopia MIGHT make it worse, or keep it from getting better, and that people considering getting glasses for myopia should be informed about this evidence. To that end, I am looking for M.D.'s who will support me in this campaign, in particular by lending their name to a science-based declaration about glasses and the eyes. A rough draft of this declaration can be found at: http://www.i-see.org/declaration.txt
An essay I wrote in 1996 on approaches to preventing myopia can be found at:
Please let me know of Dr. Sahelian would be interested in participating in this myopia campaign; simply issuing a statement on this matter would help a lot. I know Dr. Sahelian's main subject area is supplements, but it would still be appropriate to know what can be done to get the most out of one's vision supplements.
A. Dr. Sahelian appreciates you contacting us, however he is not an expert on myopia and prefers to stay on the topic of nutritional supplements that he has studied in detail. However we will include your website address on myopia on our web page.
My eight-year-old child is nearsighted. Have you
heard of any supplements or Rx meds that improve eyesight, particularly
myopia? What about the dosage?
I am not familiar with the treatment of myopia in child or teenager with the use of natural supplements. However, fish oils may be helpful.
My friend and I are making the research work about
the relatives of the myopia. We'll be very pleased if you could help us.
We wanted to know if there is any study which proves with evidences that
this eye condtion could be treated by any natural herbs, vitamins, or
Perhaps some of the information on this page will be helpful.
Q. I understand that myopia is due to longer eye ball
or abnormal shape of cornea or lens. Hence, my question is how does
lutein help with myopia?
A. I don't think lutein supplementation has a significant effect for nearsightedness, but it could help color perception.
needing glasses for reading or close vision