Myopia Management in New York
Is Your Child Near-Sighted?
Childhood myopia, also known as near or near-sighted, can cause very serious eye diseases later in life. Offer your child a brighter future with myopia management.
Why Does Myopia Need to Be Managed?
Myopia (nearsightedness) is reaching epidemic proportions. By 2050, half of the world’s population is expected to have myopia. That’s worrying, as having myopia significantly raises the risk of developing sight-threatening eye diseases later in life, such as cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment and macular degeneration.
The level of myopia a child has is directly correlated to their risk of eye disease — the higher the myopia, the greater the risk. A child between -0.75D and -3.00 is more than 3 times more likely to develop retinal detachment in the future. That number triples for individuals with high myopia (-5.00 and above).
If you’re concerned that your child’s vision is deteriorating, contact Malara Eyecare and Eye Spa today. We can help.
Did You Know Myopia Is Caused By Abnormal Eye Growth?
Myopia is the most common refractive error among children and young adults. It occurs when the eye elongates, causing rays of light to focus in front of the light-sensitive retina rather than directly on it. This causes distant objects to appear blurred while nearby objects remain clear.
The degree of myopia can progress gradually or rapidly, especially from ages 8-18. This is not just a matter of inconvenience or needing stronger glasses; if the myopia continues to progress, the child is at a higher risk of developing dangerous eye diseases later in life that can lead to permanent vision loss and even blindness.
Although eyeglasses and standard contact lenses can correct a person’s vision, they do not treat the underlying cause of myopia or slow its progression.
Treatment Options for Myopia
How do we slow down myopia progression?
– Various myopia control treatments can slow down or even stop the progression of myopia.
- Specialized, daily-disposable, soft contacts called MiSight®.
- OrthoK hard contact lenses (CRT): has the benefit of slowing down myopia and giving clear vision without wearing corrective lenses.
- Low concentration Atropine eye drops.
How long do we have to treat?
- It depends. Typically we treat until the age of 18, or until the prescription stops changing for at least 2 consecutive years.
- If your child does not have myopia but there is a strong history in the family, spending more time outdoor can prevent myopia from developing.
- If you notice that your child’s myopia is getting worse, you should bring them in for an eye exam. We will be happy to recommend the most appropriate treatment.
For more information, please see the National Eye Institute webpage:
1. MiSight Daily Contactsmisight 1day
CooperVision’s MiSight® 1 day is the first and only contact lens FDA-approved* to slow the progression of myopia in children aged 8-12 at the initiation of treatment. Children can apply the soft, daily wear, single use contact lenses to their eyes in the morning, wear them for at least 10 hours during the day, then dispose of them in the evening. The FDA-approved* lens is available as part of a comprehensive myopia management approach offered by CooperVision and participating eye care practitioners. Here is a video by Dr. Smith explaining how it works.
2. Ortho-K or CRT
The GP lenses for OrthoK (orthokeratology) are applied at bedtime and worn overnight. While you sleep, the lenses gently reshape the front surface of your eye (the cornea) to correct your vision, so you can see clearly without glasses or contact lenses when you’re awake. The effect is temporary – generally enough to get you through a day or two – so you must wear the reshaping lenses each night to maintain good vision during the day. This is an FDA approved form of Myopa Control and non-surgical, refractive correction for all ages.
Ortho-k is particularly appealing for people who participate in sports, or who work in dusty, dirty environments that can make contact lens wear difficult.
The goal for ortho-k is to correct your vision to 20/20 without eyeglasses or contact lenses during the day. In FDA trials of CRT lenses, more than 65% of patients were able to achieve 20/20 visual acuity after wearing the reshaping lenses overnight. More than 90% were able to see 20/40 or better (the legal vision requirement for driving without glasses in most states).
Success rates for OrthoK tend to be higher for mild prescriptions. Call our office to find out if your prescription is within the range that can be successfully treated with OrthoK.
Though you may see some improvement in your vision after a day or two of overnight ortho-k, it can take several weeks for the full effect to be apparent. During this time, your vision will not be as clear as it was with glasses or contacts, and you are likely to notice some glare and halos around lights. It’s possible you may need a temporary pair of eyeglasses for certain tasks, like driving at night, until your vision is fully corrected by the ortho-k lenses.
Some people have comfort issues when attempting to wear gas permeable contact lenses during the day. But since OrthoK GP lenses are worn during sleep, comfort and lens awareness are generally not a problem.
3. Low concentration Atropine eye drops
Atropine is a medication that can be used as a topical eye drop to limit myopia progression. It is used in low concentrations (typically 0.01, 0.025, or 0.05%) to slow the growth of the eye beyond normal levels. Research over the past 20 years has proven its effectiveness, however the degree of success has been inconsistent among studies. Atropine treatment is usually reserved for patients with glasses prescriptions outside of the range for contact lenses, or as a supplemental treatment in patients who still show some progression with contacts. These eyedrops are used once daily before bed, making them a convenient option with little maintenance. They also can be used for younger children who may not yet be ready for the responsibility of contact lenses.
Myopia increases the risk of serious, sight threatening complications.
How Do I Know If My Child Needs Myopia Management?
If you are concerned about your child’s myopia, call our practice today. Our team of eye care professionals will help you understand more about your child's nearsightedness and will determine whether your child is a candidate for myopia management.
Take our myopia assessment online to find out whether your child could benefit from this life-changing treatment.
Myopia Management Offers a Brighter Future | FAQ
If you’ve been wearing glasses or contacts for many years without much concern, it may seem unnecessary to manage your child’s myopia. However, it’s a worthwhile and important investment, as rapidly progressing myopia may lead to more severe eye complications and sight-threatening conditions, such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and retinal detachment.
In fact, the longer the eyeball length, the greater the risk of ocular complications down the line.
Myopia management has been shown to effectively help reduce the rate of growth of the eyeball in children and teens by slowing its progression. Offer your child a brighter future with myopia management.
Can Myopia Lead to Blindness?
In extreme circumstances, myopia can lead to serious vision-threatening complications, including blindness. This occurs primarily in cases where high myopia has reached an advanced stage called degenerative myopia.
What is Progressive Myopia?
Progressive myopia is nearsightedness that continues to worsen year after year. This progression can result in severe myopia, also called high myopia, that may be associated with potentially serious side effects.
Can Myopia Be Cured?
Currently, there is no cure for myopia. But myopia management methods like Ortho-K, multifocal contact lenses and atropine eye drops can slow its progression.