Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is where the image focuses in front of the retina causing distance objects to be blurred. Lenses are needed to put the focus directly on the retina. Myopia is a very common condition throughout the world. Approximately 1/3 of the population in the United States, and over 90% of several East Asian countries suffer from myopia. While myopia may seem so common that it shouldn’t be cause for concern, if it progresses. it is actually associated with several very serious eye conditions that can threaten one’s ability to see, namely retinal detachment and glaucoma. Currently, there is no known cure for myopia. 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, a consultaion is necessary to determine the best option for each case.
Ortho-K | Orthokeratology has been used to slow down the progression of myopia for years. It has seen a rebirth since the development highly oxygen permeable rigid contacts. Orthokeratology was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2002. The procedure is considered safe, effective, and reversible. These highly oxygen permeable rigid lenses are now worn while sleeping. They gently mold the eye to the proper shape throughout the night.
Once beginning Ortho-K, it will take anywhere from one to four weeks to fully see all the vision improvement. Many patients find that their vision has improved after only wearing their lenses for a single night! Upon removing the lenses, the eye continues to maintain that corrected shape and provide 20/20 vision without glasses or contacts throughout the day. During the first few days, some patients experience some mild discomfort for the first few nights, but as your eyes adjust over a few days, you should no longer be bothered by the feel of your lenses.
Mutifocal Contact Lenses | These specially designed multifocal soft contact lenses help reduce eye strain while reading. They have shown to be successful at slowing the progression of myopia over a three-year period when compared with individuals who wore a standard prescription lens
Lifestyle Changes | Research has shown that 2 hours of outdoor activity / day will decrease the progression of myopia. Also, following the 20/20/20 rule helps to reduce eyestrain. One should take break from close work every 20 minutes by looking at something at least 20 ft away for 20 seconds.
Atropine Eye Drops | One of the thoughts about the progression of myopia, is that it is associated with eye strain. The additional stresses that are placed on the eye when straining push the eye further out of its proper shape. Atropine eye drops are specifically designed to help stop the eye from straining and help the muscles relax. A very low dose of Atropine eye drops daily are specifically designed to help the eye muscles relax without causing excess dilation.
If you notice that your child is having a difficult time seeing objects that are far away, contact us today to schedule an appointment. 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. Treating myopia as quickly as possible can help to reduce your child’s chances of developing a serious eye condition that can threaten their ability to see the world around them. Call today and schedule an appointment to see how we can help your child.