Myopia (AKA nearsightedness) is extremely common, with an estimated one out of every two people having it. It is caused when the shape of your eye is elongated, similar to a football shape, or when the cornea is curved too steeply. As a result of these irregularities, things in the distance appear blurry.
What’s Wrong with Regular Myopia Treatment?
Fortunately for the millions of adults and children who are nearsighted, myopia is usually corrected easily with glasses, contact lenses or sometimes, surgery. However, myopia, especially when it is progressive and leads to high vision prescriptions, can also increase your risks of future eye problems, such as glaucoma, cataracts and retinal detachment. So while eyeglasses can give nearsighted people sharp vision, the effects of this method of myopia treatment are limited. In contrast, myopia control can offer long-lasting benefits.
Introducing Myopia Control
Introducing myopia control – an approach that aims to slow the progression of myopia in children. While there is no way to totally prevent a child from becoming nearsighted, myopia management can stop it from getting worse. Subsequently, the child’s eye health as an adult can be protected.
Types of Myopia Management
There are various methods of myopia control, including some self-help measures that you can take:
- Outdoor activity: Studies have linked too much screen time, on computers or any type of digital devices, to myopia progression. Encouraging children to spend more time playing outdoors may help slow the deterioration of nearsightedness.
- Low-dose atropine eye drops: These drops may offer myopia control when given to children aged 5-18, in small doses for two to three years.
- Multifocal contact lenses: Kids age 6-12 have shown positive results when wearing soft multifocals for myopia control. It’s believed that blurring side vision with these specialty contact lenses can slow eye growth and limit nearsightedness.
- Orthokeratology: Ortho-k lenses are specialty contacts worn overnight to correct blurred vision during the daytime. They work by flattening the cornea as you sleep. Although ortho-k lenses only improve vision temporarily, it is believed that some permanent benefits on myopia progression may occur.
Benefits of Myopia Control
There are three primary long-term benefits of myopia management:
- Sharper, improved vision, because nearsighted adults and children have better visual performance when the degree of myopia is mild.
- Improved results from future surgical myopia correction, such as laser eye surgery, because the lower the myopia is – the fewer the surgical enhancements that are needed.
- Reduced risk of visual impairment from eye health problems in the future.
If your nearsighted child’s eye exams consistently lead to a stronger vision prescription, it’s time to look into myopia control. Contact our Sunnyvale optometry office to book a consultation.
At Silicon Valley Eye Physicians, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 408-739-6200 or book an appointment online to see one of our Sunnyvale eye doctors.
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