Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a vision condition that causes difficulty seeing objects at a distance. When the eyeball is too long or the cornea is too curved, the light entering the eye isn’t focused properly, and faraway objects appear blurred. Myopia affects around 30 percent of children and teens.
Myopia control aims to prevent the progression of myopia and keep patients’ prescription stable to help protect their vision for the future. This is especially important for children as the developmental years are when the eyes experience most changes. Here are the main categories of myopia control treatments:
Atropine Eye Drops
Atropine eye drops reduce pain related to certain kinds of eye inflammation. Accommodation refers to the eye’s ability to temporarily shift focus. The effect these eye drops have on accommodation may be the reason they are effective in reducing myopia progression in kids. Studies show that atropine is the best way of controlling myopia, reducing the progression of the eye condition by up to 77 percent.
Multifocal Eyeglasses and Contact Lenses
Multifocal eyeglasses and contact lenses allow people with refractive errors to see clearly at all distances. A two-year study found that nearsighted children who wore multifocal lenses daily had a 50 percent reduction in the progression of their myopia compared to children who wore regular, soft contacts for the same duration.
Ortho-k contact lenses or corneal reshaping lenses are specially designed gas permeable contacts that are worn during sleep. When the patient awakens in the morning, they can remove the lenses and enjoy temporary clear eyesight throughout the day. In a two-year study of nearsighted Chinese children, researchers found that ortho-k lenses reduced eyeball lengthening by 43 percent compared to participants who wore regular eyeglasses for myopia control.
Keep in mind that early detection and treatment are key in preventing and controling myopia in children. Visit Spectrum Eye Care for your family’s eye care needs. Call us at (704) 543-9000 (South Charlotte), (704) 334-4444 (Uptown Charlotte) or (704) 817-4600. You can also schedule an appointment online by completing our contact form.