In recent years, Myopia’s prevalence has been growing at an alarming rate.
Globally, research suggests that in the year 2000, roughly 25 percent of the world’s population was nearsighted but by the year 2050, it’s expected that roughly half the people on the planet will be myopic.
If your child has myopia (nearsightedness), you’re probably wondering if there is a cure or at least something that can be done to slow its progression so your child doesn’t need stronger glasses year after year. A number of recent studies suggest it is indeed possible to control myopia by slowing its progression during childhood and teen years.
Although an outright cure for myopia (nearsightedness) has not been discovered, Dr. Cook now offers a number of treatments to help slow the progression of myopia.
These treatments can induce changes in the structure and focusing of the eye to reduce the progression of nearsightedness.
Slowing the progression of myopia has many positives. Preventing high levels of nearsightedness that require greater dependence on glasses and contact lenses has many lifestyle advantages. Health considerations are also a concern since people with high myopia have a greater rate of serious eye problems later in life, such as cataracts, glaucoma and retinal detachments.
Orthokeratology is a non-surgical procedure where you wear special gas permeable contact lenses (think of them as corneal molds) at night that reshape your cornea while you sleep. When you remove the lenses in the morning, your cornea retains the new shape for the day, so you can see clearly without glasses or contact lenses. Orthokeratology/Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) have been proven effective at not only correcting myopia but also slowing myopia progression by providing the peripheral retina a clear image which helps to slow the growth of the eye.
Evidence suggests nearsighted kids who undergo several years of orthokeratology have less myopia as adults, compared with children who wear eyeglasses or regular contact lenses during the peak years for myopia progression.
Dual focus contacts lenses are special lenses that have different powers in different zones of the lens to correct nearsightedness as well as provide the peripheral retina with a clear image which helps to slow the growth of the eye. These lenses are available in daily and monthly replacement types.
Atropine eye drops have been used for myopia control for many years with effective results. The exact mechanism of how atropine slows the growth of the eye is not known completely. The drops are used daily and there is minimal side effect of dilation or blurred vision due to the low dosage.
If you notice that your child is squinting or is having a difficult time seeing objects that are far away, contact us today to schedule an appointment. Many parents notice changes in their children with behavior or grades at school or their ability to play sports. Slowing the progression of myopia can help to reduce your child’s chances of developing a serious eye condition later in life that can accompany high myopia, while reducing their dependence on glasses and contact lenses. Dr. Cook and the staff at Family Eye Care are excited to be able to help myopic children with the latest technology. Call today and schedule an appointment to see how we can help your child.