What is myopia?
Myopia is the clinical term for nearsightedness. Patients with myopia see nearby objects clearly, while objects in the distance appear blurry. Myopia usually results from the eye being too long. The eye tends to grow longer as we grow through childhood, often resulting in the need for stronger glasses. Genetics play an important role in myopia. Children with parents who are nearsighted have an increased risk of becoming nearsighted themselves
Risk factors for myopia progression include:
- Age of Onset: 9 or younger
- Family History: parents or grandparents
- Rate of Progression: 1.00 Diopter or more per year
- Ethnicity: Asian Heritage
- Near Work: 2 or more hours per day
- Outdoors Time: 2 hours or less per day
Why try to control myopia growth?
Myopia treatments have been shown to reduce a person’s myopia progression by up to 60 percent. Myopia has been associated with cataracts, primary open angle glaucoma and retinal detachments. The risk of developing these conditions increases as myopia increases. Reducing a person’s myopia could also decrease his or her chances of developing one of these vision-threatening diseases.
What are possible treatments for controlling myopia?
Corneal Reshaping Therapy (CRT)
Corneal reshaping contact lenses are worn over night during sleep and are removed in the morning. These lenses temporarily change the shape of the cornea so that a person can see clearly throughout the day without the need for glasses or contact lenses.
Soft Bifocal Contact Lenses
Soft bifocal contact lenses are typically worn by individuals over the age of 40 to help them see clearly at both distance and near; however, they have also been shown to reduce the progression of myopia in children.
Atropine 1% is an eye drop that typically makes the pupil larger; resulting in increased sensitivity to light and blurred near vision. Low concentration (0.01%, 0.02%, and 0.05%) atropine has been shown to slow myopia progression without significantly increasing pupil size or affecting near vision.
At Valley Eye Clinic, we are proud to offer an established Myopia Management program. Our approach utilizes any of the three studied strategies individually or in combination, tailored to each patient and their refractive error. Please contact Valley Eye Clinic to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Kyler to see if you or your child may be a good candidate for one of these treatments.