What Is Myopia?
Myopia or nearsightedness is when your eyes do not focus light correctly so that distant objects appear blurry while close objects appear clearly. Patients can wear glasses or contacts to correct vision, but it does not prevent it from increasing each year
What Is Myopia Control?
There is a strong association with higher amounts of myopia and the risk of certain eye diseases as a child reaches later adulthood; such as, macular degeneration, retinal detachments, glaucoma and cataracts. Reducing the overall amount of myopia will reduce the overall chance of developing one of those vision threatening conditions. By 2050, about half of the world’s population is projected to have myopia.
Non-Medical Treatments For Myopia
Spend time outside each day. Research studies have shown that children who spend at least 90 minutes in natural sunlight slow the onset of nearsightedness.
Take regular breaks from close work approximately every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Keep a good working distance for near activities. Holding things closer to your face causes your eyes to work harder to see.
Limit screen time when possible. The two-hour rule means we try to limit leisure screen time when used for entertainment to less than 2 hours per day.
Myopia Control Treatments Currently Offered at AEC
Soft multifocal contact lenses – MiSight
These lenses are designed similar to the contact lenses that patients over 40 years of age wear to help with focusing up close.
These are daily wear contacts.
The contacts bend light in a way to help relax your child’s focusing system and create peripheral defocus.
This slows down the growth of the eye. In current research, have shown 59% effectiveness in slowing myopia progression.
Low Dose Atropine Drops
These eye drops are a diluted form of the eye drop your eyes are dilated with at routine eye exams.
While exact mechanism is unknown, these eye drops work to slow the eye growth by acting on the white shell of the eye (sclera) directly or indirectly. There are possible side effects including blurred near vision and light sensitivity.
This tends to be minimal and sunglasses or reading glasses can be used if needed.
These drops are not commercially available, and therefore must be ordered by a compounding pharmacy. In current research, the drops have shown 40—65% effectiveness in slowing myopia progression.