Myopia Management at Eye Associates of Winter Park
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With myopia becoming a common, widespread ocular disorder, more research has been done over the years to see what can be done to slow the progression of myopia in children. While there isn’t a cure for myopia, there are several treatments available that can help slow the spread of myopia, improve the health of your children’s eyes, and improve symptoms of myopia, which include eye stress, eye fatigue, and difficulty seeing clearly while watching TV or driving.My vision is important to me | make appointment
Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a refractive error that is rapidly increasing globally and becoming more and more common. While there are many causes, myopia is commonly believed to be caused by genetics. According to numerous studies, approximately 30% of the world’s population suffers from this condition currently, and by the year 2050, this number is expected to nearly double, with 50% of the world’s population expected to be myopic.
Left untreated, myopia could develop into serious eye problems, such as retina damage, cataracts, glaucoma, and in extreme cases, blindness. However, identifying and treating symptoms of myopia early on in children and teenagers can not only prevent your child’s nearsightedness from worsening, but reduce eye stress and fatigue, and boost your child’s overall ocular health.
Research has shown that managing myopia in children through several non-invasive treatments can not only slow the progression of myopia but significantly increase the chances of children who underwent treatment in having less myopia as an adult.
Effective, evidence-based Myopia treatments include:
Orthokeratology (Ortho-k) is a non-surgical procedure in which you wear special gas permeable lenses called “corneal reshaping lenses” at night when you sleep. The lenses slowly reshape the cornea while you sleep, and in the morning, the lenses are removed. Your cornea will temporarily retain the shape of the lens, leaving you with a temporary correction that allows you to see clearly without glasses or contact lenses. Ortho-k is a popular treatment option, as it not only temporarily corrects myopia in the short-term, but can help reduce the lengthening of the eyeball with regular use. According to a two-year study of nearsighted children between the ages of 6-10, nightly use of ortho-k contact lenses reduced the elongation of the eyes of the children in the study who wore the contacts by 43% when compared to the children who wore conventional eyeglasses for myopia control.
Multifocal, soft lenses are special contact lenses that are designed with different powers in different areas of the lenses to correct symptoms of nearsightedness. These lenses are worn like traditional contacts during the daytime and studies have shown that multifocal soft contact lenses are effective in slowing the progression of myopia in some children. In 2013, a study found that children with myopia who wore multifocal soft lenses daily had a 50% reduction in the progression of their nearsightedness than children who wore regular, non-multifocal lenses for the same period of time.
Atropine eye drops have been safely used for decades to treat a variety of eye conditions, including myopia. While these eye drops can temporarily improve the effects of myopia, they are not effective in causing long-term changes for myopia control. Additionally, atropine drops are not generally the first choice of most eye doctors when treating children, as the drops can cause discomfort, light sensitivity, blurred vision, and again, the long-term effects of the eye drops is unknown.
Aside from Ortho-k lenses, one of the most common methods for treating myopia is multifocal eyeglasses. Depending on the severity of your myopia, you may need to only wear them during certain activities, such as driving or watching TV, or you may need to wear them all the time. While multifocal eyeglasses are proven to be a better solution for myopia control than single-vision lenses, they are not nearly as effective as Ortho-k and multifocal lenses in slowing the progression of myopia.
If your child has been diagnosed with nearsightedness, and you are interested in learning more about myopia control, contact the Myopia Control Specialists at Eye Associates of Winter Park today to schedule an eye exam and find a treatment option that is right for you and your child.schedule an appointment
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