Myopia, or nearsightedness, is the most common vision problem in children, affecting at least one-third of all children and teens. The doctors at Capitol Eye Care Center closely monitor children with myopia because the condition worsens as they grow up, increasing their risk for severe nearsightedness or eye disease. Customized treatment to slow myopia progression, called myopia control, is available.
Why is Myopia Control Necessary?
Myopia progressively worsens as your child’s eyes grow and become longer. In simple or non-pathologic myopia, vision typically worsens through childhood and adolescent growth spurts, then stabilizes in young adulthood.
Moderate to high myopia, called degenerative or pathologic myopia, progresses at a faster pace. It also increases your child’s risk of developing eye problems that lead to vision loss, such as retinal detachment, glaucoma, and cataracts.
There are a few options for myopia control. Your optometrist will need to evaluate the prescription, age of the child and additional data in order to offer the best myopia control therapy for your child.
Orthokeratology (Ortho-K, CRT):
Orthokeratology refers to wearing specially designed contact lenses (CRT) at night. While your child sleeps, the contacts gently reshape their cornea. Based on research, wearing these lenses every night helps slow myopia progression. Many patients embrace the idea of enjoying vision correction without having to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses during the day. Orthokeratology may also be an ideal choice for adults who simply don't like the idea of any kind of corrective surgery but would like to be free of glasses and contact lens during waking hours. If you decide to use another form of vision correction, simply stop wearing the Ortho-K lenses and your corneas will assume their previous shape once again. Talk to our knowledgeable staff to see whether Ortho-K makes sense for you or your child.
Multifocal Contact Lenses:
Studies show that children wearing multifocal contact lenses benefit from good long-term results and slow down of myopia progression. Several studies in the past five years have shown that soft multifocal contact lenses with a center distance design can slow the development of myopia as well as elongation of the eye.
Atropine eye drops:
Low-dose atropine eyedrops are used to slow the progression of myopia and prevent severe vision problems. The eye drops are administered before bedtime. There’s been some evidence that combining atropine treatment with another myopia treatment could have an additive effect in decreasing myopia progression.