What is myopia?
Myopia is a clinical term for nearsightedness. Nearsighted eyes can see nearby objects clearly, while objects far away are blurry without glasses or contact lenses. Myopia leads to the gradual elongation of the eyeball. It affects more than a billion people around the world, including 42% of people ages 12-54 in the United States.
What causes myopia?
There is no definitive evidence that researchers have found to cause myopia, but genetics and environmental factors have been shown to be key players.
High myopia progresses rapidly in the formative years and is associated with retinal detachment, maculopathy, cataracts and glaucoma. These diseases can be visually devastating.
Who should undergo myopia control?
The ideal patient is anyone whose myopia is progressing. Ages range from 4 years to even early 20’s. Other reasons for early intervention include: parental myopia, excessive near work, reduced time outdoors, ethnicity(asian descent) and more! This is especially true during the fast growing teenage years for myopic children.
What Can be Done?
Spend More Time Outdoors
Studies show that time outside in the great outdoors can keep your child from becoming nearsighted. Doctors recommend to limit your child’s time on electronics and get them more involved with outdoor activities.
Keep Your Glasses Up To Date
Research suggests that under correcting nearsightedness(or having glasses with an incorrect prescription) actually causes it to progress more quickly.
By using very diluted dilating drops, you can significantly reduce the progression of nearsightedness. The good news is that for the vast majority, the drops don’t seem to increase light sensitivity or cause near vision difficulty.
Ortho-k Or Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT)
An alternative to LASIK for young adults and children is orthokeratology or “overnight vision”. With Ortho-K, the patient wears a breathable and specialty-fit lens at night and it temporarily reshapes the cornea to be free from glasses and contact lenses during the day.
Multifocal Contact Lenses
Research suggests that these contact lenses can slow myopia progression by about 50% by bending light similarly to that with corneal reshaping.
Here at Morgantown Eye Associates
We provide services for myopia control, which are methods used to slow the progression of myopia, or nearsightedness.
The earlier the problem is identified and the earlier the treatment is initiated, the better long term results are likely to be.