Childhood myopia (nearsightedness) is a common condition that causes blurred distance vision. It can usually be easily corrected with glasses or contact lenses. However, myopia can progress over time, meaning that the child's vision will get worse each year. This usually continues until the child's eyes stop growing, which is typically around the age of 20.
There are a number of factors that can contribute to progressive myopia, including genetics, environmental factors, and behavioral factors. For example, children who spend a lot of time indoors doing close-up activities, such as reading or using electronic devices, are more likely to develop myopia. Conversely, studies have shown that children who spend more time outdoors are less likely to develop myopia.
If your child has been diagnosed with myopia, or you suspect that your child has undiagnosed myopia, it is important to see an eye doctor. There are a number of treatments available that can help to slow or stop the progression of myopia. These treatments include:
Ortho-K is a non-surgical procedure that uses specially designed contact lenses to gently reshape the cornea, the clear front surface of the eye. This reshaping allows people with mild to moderate myopia to see clearly without glasses or contact lenses during the day.
The lenses are worn overnight, while you sleep. During sleep, the lenses apply gentle pressure to the cornea, which causes the cells on the surface of the cornea to flatten. This flattening of the cornea changes the way light enters the eye, which improves vision.
The effects of ortho-K typically last for 24 hours, so you will need to wear the lenses every night or every other night to maintain your vision. However, some people may be able to go longer between wearing the lenses.
Ortho-K is a safe and effective way to improve vision. It is also a reversible procedure, so if you decide you no longer want to wear the lenses, your vision will eventually return to its previous state.
MiSight® Contact lenses
MiSight® contact lenses are daily disposable soft contact lenses that are designed to slow down the progression of myopia in children and young adults.
MiSight® lenses are easy to wear and care for. They are disposable, so there is no need to clean or store them. This makes them a convenient option for busy families.
To achieve the best results, MiSight® lenses should be worn for 6 days a week for at least 12 hours each day.
Atropine Eye Drops
Atropine drops are a therapy that is used to slow the progression of myopia. Atropine drops work by relaxing the eye's focusing mechanism. This mechanism is responsible for adjusting the eye's shape to focus on objects at different distances. When the focusing mechanism is relaxed, the eye does not need to grow as long to see objects that are far away.
Research has shown that daily use of low doses of atropine drops can slow the progression of myopia. The most effective concentration of atropine drops for myopia control is still being studied, but concentrations of 0.01%, 0.02%, and 0.05% have all been shown to be effective.
Atropine drops are generally well-tolerated, but they can cause some side effects, such as blurred vision, sensitivity to light, and dry eyes. These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own.
MiyoSmart® Lenses (D.I.M.S.)
MiyoSmart® lenses are a unique and innovative way to help children slow the progression of myopia. These lenses use a breakthrough technology called Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments (D.I.M.S.)
MiyoSmart® lenses are completely non-invasive and easy to use. They are made of lightweight polycarbonate, so they are comfortable to wear all day long. They also provide full UV protection, so your child's eyes will be protected from the sun's harmful rays.
Discover renewed hope for your child's progressive myopia with the expertise of our optometrists at Red Cedar Optometry in Richmond Hill. They are well-versed in a wide array of options, and finding the perfect treatment could unlock a lifetime of improved vision.