Myopia, more commonly known as nearsightedness, is prevalent throughout the world. Approximately 1/3 of the population in the United States has the condition, and in several East Asian countries, over 90% of the population experiences myopia. While myopia may seem like such a common condition that it shouldn’t be cause for concern, it is actually associated with several serious ailments that can threaten one’s ability to see.
Myopia is a condition where individuals can clearly see objects close to them but may have difficulty distinguishing objects at a distance, such as road signs or leaves on a tree. As a result, these individuals often squint at items that are far 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.
Studies have proven a few different treatments for myopia to be effective. Of course, to ensure you find the most appropriate 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. Ortho-K utilizes a special rigid gas-permeable contact lens placed into the eyes just before you go to bed. This hard lens helps to gently hold 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 its proper shape. This means that nearsighted people can 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 | One thought about the progression of myopia is that it is associated with eye strain. The additional stresses placed on the eye when straining push it further out of its proper shape. Atropine eye drops are specifically designed to help stop the eye from straining and help the muscles relax. Atropine is similar to the eye drops used when you get your eyes dilated, but it lasts throughout the entire day rather than just a few hours. Atropine dilates the pupil of the eye, preventing it from closing too tightly and limiting your vision. This treatment has been shown to be especially effective in slowing the progression of myopia in children.
Multifocal Eyeglasses and Contact Lenses | These specialty contact lenses are 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.
If you notice that your child is having difficulty seeing objects far away, contact us today to schedule an appointment. Many parents notice changes in their children’s behavior or grades at school or 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 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.