What is Myopia?
Myopia is near sightedness, which is when someone can see up close, but objects in the distance become blurry.
Typically nearsightedness starts to develop in childhood and progresses until around age 20.
What is Myopia Control?
Myopia Control is treatment methods that help slow down the progression of myopia. These methods include drops, like Atropine or specialty contact lenses.
Why is it important?
Nearsightedness is increasing across the globe. It’s estimated that by 2050, nearly half of the world’s population will have this condition. It is thought that the increase is due to the increased amount of time spent looking up close with screens and near-work.
Slowing the progression of nearsightedness may reduce the risk of diseases later in life, like glaucoma, retinal detachment, and blindness.
How do you control myopia?
There are various treatment plans that can be done to slow down the progression and only your Doctor will be able to determine which method or methods are the best. However, the main methods are:
Soft Dual Focus Contact Lenses
These types of lenses have different powers in different zones of the lens and are routinely worn to help people over the age of 40 years of age read clearly as well as see far away. Studies have shown that they reduce the axial elongation or growth of the eye which causes myopia progression in children 8 to 12 with myopia of -0.75 to -4.00 diopters and less than -1.00 diopters of astigmatism. However, many children have shown improvement or a slowing in progression with stronger prescriptions as well.
Topical atropine is an eye drop that typically makes the pupil (black hole in the middle of the eye) bigger, and it blurs near vision because it reduces the ability to focus the eyes while looking at near. This form of treatment has been used in myopia control for years. However, low concentration (0.01% – 0.05%) atropine has recently been shown to slow the progression of nearsightedness without increasing pupil size or decreasing near vision dramatically and is a great option to slow nearsightedness.
Corneal Reshaping Contact Lenses
They are worn during sleep and removed in the morning. They temporarily change the shape of the cornea (the clear window on the front of the eye), so that the child can see clearly all day long without glasses or contact lenses. During the ﬁrst two weeks of wear, your child will experience changing vision. When the vision gets worse, s/he may put on glasses to provide clear vision. Although the chance of an eye infection is still very low, it is greater for corneal reshaping contact lenses than usual daytime contact lens wear because the contact lens is worn overnight.
If you’d like to learn more about myopia control book an appointment today or give us a call at 904-686-1386.