Myopia is a very common issue throughout the world. Childhood myopia rates are increasing with 1 in 3 children affected in the United States and over 90% in several East Asian countries. 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 like glaucoma and retinal diseases that can threaten one’s ability to see. Although myopia can be inherited many researchers believe reduced outdoor time and increased screen time on devices are part of the problem. Early intervention is key to slow or even stop the progression of myopia in your child.
Myopia, more commonly known as nearsightedness, is the inability to see things clearly in the distance like street signs or leaves on the trees. It occurs when an eye grows too long or the cornea is too steeply curved.
Signs of Myopia
Unawareness of distant objects
Frequent eye rubbing
A need to sit closer to objects (television, classroom board) 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 multiple accepted types of treatments for myopia management. Our Monarch Bay doctors will ensure we find the most effective choice for your child.
Low-Dose Atropine Eye Drops
Low-Dose Atropine can be effective in slowing the progression of myopia in children. One thought is that the progression of myopia 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. Low- Dose Atropine eye drops are designed to help stop the eye from straining and help the muscles relax. Low-Dose Atropine is similar to the eye drops that are used when you get your eyes dilated. They both relax the focusing system but dilation drops cause blurred vision and sensitivity to light. In a recent study it was shown that 95% of children did not have any side effects. Low dose Atropine is considered to be safe and effective. It is especially a good choice for children who can not tolerate contact lenses or in conjunction with those that wear contacts.
MiSight Contact Lenses
MiSight multifocal specialty contact lenses are the first and only FDA approved soft contact lenses proven to slow the progression of myopia in children aged 8-12 at initiation of treatment.* Designed to help reduce strain on the eyes. They have shown great success at slowing the progression of myopia over a three-year period when compared with individuals who wore a standard prescription lens.
Ortho-K (Orthokeratology) or CRT (Corneal Refractive Therapy) (Link to Ortho K article to ortho K and the CRT article to CRT) is one practice being used to slow down the progression of myopia. Ortho-K utilizes a special rigid gas-permeable contact lens that is placed into the eyes just before you go to bed. This rigid lens helps to gently hold your eye in the proper shape throughout the night. Then when you wake up in the morning and remove the lenses, your eye continues to maintain that shape. This means that people who are nearsighted can see clearly throughout the day, even without wearing contact lenses or glasses. This approach is often preferred for athletes or other active individuals. 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. Myopia matters.
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