Myopia is a very common issue throughout the world. Approximately 1/3 of the population in the United States have the condition and over 90% of several East Asian countries suffer from myopia. While myopia may seem like such a common condition that it shouldn’t be cause for concern, it is actually associated with several very serious conditions that can threaten one’s ability to see.
Myopia, more commonly known as nearsightedness, is a condition where individuals are able to see objects that are close to them but may have difficulty distinguishing things at a distance, such as road signs or leaves on a tree. These individuals often squint at objects that are further away to try and help bring them into focus.
Currently, there is no known cure for myopia and recent studies suggest that the more advanced your myopia gets, the more serious the effects can be on your vision. This has led eye professionals to look for ways to slow the progression of myopia in children and young adults as the eyes typically change more rapidly during this time and slowing down myopia progression during these years has a huge payoff.
There are a few different treatments for myopia that have proven to be effective in a number of studies. Of course, to ensure you find the most effective choice for you, be sure to visit your eye doctor so they can review your case and recommend the best options for you.
Ortho-K | Ortho-K or Orthokeratology is one practice being used to slow down the progression of myopia in children. Ortho-K utilizes a special rigid gas-permeable contact lens that is placed onto the eyes just before you go to bed. This contact lens gently holds your eye in the proper shape throughout the night. When you wake up in the morning and remove the lenses, your eye continues to maintain that shape. This allows people who are nearsighted to see clearly throughout the day, even without wearing contact lenses or glasses. This approach is often preferred for athletes or other active individuals.
Atropine Eye Drops | Although the mechanism of action of low-dose atropine is still unclear, studies show that it is just as effective as Ortho-K in reducing myopia progression in children. The atropine eye drop is instilled right before bed. Due to the low dosage used, the side effects are very limited. Atropine is a great option if your child is uncomfortable with contact lens insertion.
Daily Disposable Multifocal Soft Contact Lenses | These specialty soft contact lenses are worn during the day and should be removed for sleeping and water activities, such as swimming. They have shown great success in slowing down the progression of myopia.
If you notice that your child is having difficulty seeing objects that are far away, contact us today to schedule a consultation. Many parents notice changes in their children with their behavior or grades at school, their ability to play sports, or that they may even be pulling back from playing with friends. Others hear from teachers that their child may be squinting to see the board. Managing myopia as quickly as possible will reduce your child's chances of developing serious eye conditions, such as a retinal detachment or maculopathy, that can permanently reduce their vision. Call today to schedule an appointment so we can make a treatment plan to preserve your child's vision.