Myopia, or nearsightedness, causes blurry distance vision. Myopic eyes are longer or more stretched than normally sighted eyes. A person with myopia can see clearly when reading a book or looking at their phone/computer screen, but words and objects at distance such as the whiteboard in school, television, or street signs appear fuzzy. Myopia tends to progress throughout childhood. Higher levels of myopia are associated with increased risk of sight threatening eye diseases such as retinal detachment, macular degeneration, early onset cataract, and glaucoma. Fortunately, we have several options to help slow this process.
Myopia management is the science of slowing the progression of nearsightedness. The goal of myopia management is to slow down the accelerated growth of the eye and, in turn, slow the rate of prescription change. Our doctors are highly skilled at identifying risk factors for developing myopia and prescribing appropriate interventions and lifestyle recommendations to slow myopia progression and reduce the risk of developing high myopia.
We are very committed to tracking the progression of your child’s myopia. We are proud to offer our patients the latest technology in myopia management with axial length measurement and individualized patient reports via the Oculus Myopia Master®. This software allows for a comparison to an age-matched, gender-matched, and ethnicity-matched database to plot the length of the eye (axial length) over time much like the height and weight curves you’ve seen at your pediatrician’s office. It also helps us to predict how nearsighted your child is likely to become in adulthood.
Myopia management options include:
Orthokeratology (Ortho-k) aka Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT)
Orthokeratology lenses are customized gas permeable retainer lenses worn overnight to gently reshape the front surface of the eye (cornea) and temporarily correct myopia while your child sleeps. Upon waking, the contact lenses are removed, allowing your child to experience clear, comfortable vision without the need for prescription glasses or contact lenses during the day. Ortho-k lenses worn consistently for at least 6 hours per night, have been shown to slow the growth of the eye (axial elongation) and rate of prescription change.
Soft Multifocal Contact Lenses
Soft multifocal contact lenses are worn during the daytime. These lenses were originally developed for presbyopia – the common condition affecting people over the age 40 causing difficulty with reading and near focus. Multifocal contact lenses have multiple zones within the lens which change where light focuses in the back of the eye. Research has shown that certain designs of multifocal lenses are effective at reducing myopic progression in children who wear these lenses at least 10 hours per day/6 days per week.
We prescribe a variety of concentrations of low-dose atropine eye drops to be used nightly before bed. Atropine has a dose dependent effect where stronger concentrations work more effectively. Atropine eye drops have been widely studied and proven to slow prescription change and axial elongation in children. These eye drops do not correct vision, so glasses or contact lenses are still required.
We have a well-trained staff excited to get your child started in our myopia management program. Our technicians show patience and understand the proper procedures for lens insertion and removal, as well as lens care. We pride ourselves on making your experience comfortable and informative. If you are interested in myopia management for your child, or you just want to eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses during the day, contact our office at (512) 258-2120 for a free consultation.