Myopia is a very common issue throughout the world. Approximately 1/3 of the population in the United States have the condition and over 90% of several East Asian countries suffer from myopia. 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 that can threaten one’s ability to see.
Myopia, more commonly known as nearsightedness, is a condition where individuals are able to see objects that are close to them but may have difficulty distinguishing things at a distance, such as road signs or leaves on a tree. These individuals often squint at objects that are further 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.
There are a few different treatments for myopia that have proven to be effective in a number of studies. Of course, to ensure you find the most effective choice for you, be sure to visit with your eye doctor so they can review your case and recommend the best options for you.
Ortho-K | Orthokeratology aka OrthoK is the adjustment of one’s cornea. Proprietary names Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT), Moonlens, Night Moves, Dreimlens, Contex
Everybody has heard of the plastic molds used to straighten teeth while one is sleeping. They go by various names but they all do the same thing. Designed by computerized pictures of one’s mouth they gently move or straighten teeth over time.
OrthoK uses computerized topographical pictures of the cornea to design plastic molds that reshapes it adjusting the power of the eye to make one less nearsighted, less astigmatic or less farsighted. Like the ones for the teeth these oxygen permeable molds are worn while you sleep so you will make you less dependent in not having to wear prescription glasses or contacts for sports, school/work and extracurricular activities. Like retainers are for teeth after braces you will need to maintain the OrthoK effect by regular wearing the molds on a prescribed basis.
OrthoK is a non-surgical (non-invasive) alternative to LASIK but unlike the laser procedure it can be done on children with the added benefit of slowing down the progression of nearsightedness which is ever so prevalent in our youth nowadays due to virtual or at home learning, overuse of electronic devices and lessening outdoor activities.
Atropine Eye Drops | Atropine ophthalmic eye drops have been used for over a hundred years as a potent dilator and relaxer of accommodation (cycloplegia) to determine young or nonverbal children’s total prescription or to assist in strabismus surgery determination. It has also been used to strengthen the weaker or lazy eye by temporarily deactivating (blurring) the stronger one especially for those were patching is not an alternative. Atropine at full strength dilates/cyclopleges eyes for at least a week which leads to large amounts of light sensitivity (photophobia) and blurring of near and/or far vision.
Long term accommodation or focusing on near activities like books, Kindles, iPads, cell phones, video games, etc. in developing youth may be associated with increasing levels of myopia. By temporarily inactivating a portion of accommodation with a diluted quantity of atropine solution this can assist either by itself or with OrthoK/MiSight programs to slow the progression of myopia lessening the likelihood of diseases which are common in later life with high prescriptions like retinal detachment, vitreous floaters, macular degeneration & glaucoma.
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.
MiSight 1day Contact Lenses | Monthly single bifocal soft contact lenses or MiSight (double bifocal) one day disposable. A form of myopia (nearsightedness) control that uses computerized designs that help slow down the progression of one’s prescription. The science behind this is by wearing these lenses they will help focus peripheral rays of light to fall within one’s retinas to prevent axial length elongation thus lessening increases in prescriptions that can happen rapidly in developing youth. The adjusted cornea via OrthoK does this as well.
These lenses if they are the monthly or one day disposables must be worn six days a week and at least twelve hours a day.
MOONLENS | MOONLENS is an ortho-k product and along with CRT (Corneal Refractive Therapy) are both competing forms of ortho-k. Orthokeratology (OrthoK) is a broad definition.
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.
For Myopia Management Therapies aka Refractive Error Regulation please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 850.586.8860. Appointments are required.