Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is the inability for light to focus properly on the retina to form a clear image. This can cause far away objects to appear blurry. New treatments called myopia management or myopia control have been developed to slow the progression of myopia in children.
Orthokeratology is an alternative to traditional use of correction like glasses or contacts. This system uses contact lenses to reshape the cornea overnight and allow our patients to conquer the day with clear vision without the need of glasses or contacts. These contact lenses can slow the progression of myopia in children.
Peripheral Defocus Soft Contact Lenses
This type of soft contact lens creates an area of defocus in the mid periphery of the eye. This is very similar to the effect of a multifocal contact lens and can slow the progression of myopia. These contact lenses are a daily disposable lens.
Atropine Eye Drops
Atropine is used as an off-label treatment for myopia. Atropine in the past was used for the treatment of amblyopia (lazy eye), but when used for myopia the concentration of atropine is a much lower percentage. This eye drop temporarily blocks the accommodation reflex of the eye and dilates the pupils slightly. It has been shown to slow the progression of myopia in children.
Why do we want to keep myopia low?
1. The higher the myopia is, the lower the quality of vision when we are not wearing our glasses or contact lenses.
2. The higher the myopia is, the higher the likelihood of developing vision threatening conditions in the future. These conditions include glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal detachments. Patients with mild myopia have a four-fold increase in the risk of retinal detachment. For those with moderate to severe myopia, the risk increases ten times.
3. The higher the myopia is, there is less of a chance the patient will be a good candidate for LASIK in the future.