Myopia, or nearsightedness, is the most common refractive eye condition with a significant increase in children. When someone has myopia, distant objects appear blurry to them. As an eye becomes more myopic, there is an increase in ocular health concerns. Therefore, eye doctors try to control, slow down, the progression of myopia.
Any child with myopia should be considered an individual at risk for myopia progression and it is pertinent to have discussions regarding myopia control options to prevent progression.
You can learn more about myopia control by reading the answers to these frequently asked questions.
What Is Myopia Control?
Myopia control refers to the specific treatments that eye doctors apply to slow down the progression of nearsightedness.
What Does It Involve?
Myopia control moves away from using single vision lenses. The methods utilized send the signals to the eye to try and stop it from growing, ultimately slowing down the progression of myopia. Single vision lenses do have the risk of increasing the amount of myopia that a child may develop.
There are four primary treatments for myopia control. They include:
MiSight Contact Lenses (FDA approved for myopia control)
Orhtokeratology (ortho-k) or CRT lenses
Atropine eye drops
Multifocal contact lenses
Myopia control spectacles (under investigation, not approved in the United States at this time)
How Do the Different Treatments Work?
MiSight lenses and multifocal lenses work in similar ways. They provide central clear vision to the patient. The power profile in the contact lens changes in the mid-periphery to alter where light focuses in the back of the eye. The change in focal point signals the eye to stop/slow growth to slow progression. They are not single vision lenses, but the patient is able to see at all distances. Myopia control glasses work in a similar way to multifocal contact lenses.
Atropine eye drops historically are used as a dilation eye drop and can reduce pain due to certain types of eye inflammation. When utilized at a low concentration it has shown to slow down myopic progression without the dilating and focusing side effects.
Ortho-k, or corneal reshaping, uses specific gas permeable lenses to slow myopia progression. You will wear the lenses at night as you sleep and remove them in the morning. With time, the lenses reshape the front of your cornea, letting you see clearly. When the cornea is reshaped the central part of the cornea is changed to allow the patient to see clearly and the mid-peripheral portion of the cornea adjusts the focal point of the eye similar to multifocal contacts. Another benefit of ortho-k is that the patient does not need to wear other contact lenses or use glasses during the day.
How Effective Is Myopia Control?
Research shows that Myopia Control efforts may reduce the progression of nearsightedness by up to 78 percent.
Is Vision Therapy a Form of Myopia Control?
It may not be a form of myopia control, but it helps treat issues with focusing. Vision therapy works on the eye-brain connection to improve your visual system. It may involve eye exercises that strengthen the muscles and in some cases can improve binocular vision.
When Should My Child Begin Myopia Control?
As your child grows, myopia continues to progress. It worsens once they hit their teenage years and stabilizes in adulthood. For the best results, start myopia control as soon as possible.
To learn more about myopia control, call Clarke EyeCare Center in Texas. For Wichita Falls call (940) 905-0700, for Burkburnett call (940) 569-413.