Myopia Control: Slowing Down the Progression of Nearsightedness
Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a growing problem, especially among children. In the U.S., as many as 40% of children are nearsighted, and in some East Asian countries, three out of four young people have myopia. This is a worrying statistic because myopia tends to get worse over time, especially without treatment. At Fort Myers Eye Associates, P.A., myopia control -- or slowing down the development of myopia -- is one of the services we have provided to our Fort Myers patients for over 20 years.
What Is Myopia?
Myopia is more commonly called nearsightedness. Having myopia means that you can see things that are close to you, but objects in the distance appear blurry. The condition occurs when someone has an eye that is slightly elongated from front to back, and it's usually diagnosed in childhood. If your child has myopia, he or she might struggle to read things on the blackboard at school or watch TV comfortably. When you suspect your child is suffering from myopia, you should take them to an eye doctor in Fort Meyers.
Four Types of Myopia Control
If your child has myopia, their optometrist will probably suggest at least one of the following four treatment methods. No single form of treatment is right for everyone, so think carefully about what will work best for your child.
Orthokeratology is a type of eye therapy that involves putting a special device similar to contact lenses on the eyes at night. Often called "Ortho-K lenses," these lenses temporarily reshape the cornea overnight, correcting the person's vision. The corrective effect lasts all day, so people who use Ortho-K lenses don't need to wear contacts or eyeglasses during the day. This has been shown to slow the myopia progression the most.
2. Multifocal Contact Lenses
Special multifocal contact lenses are a go-to solution for many people with myopia and other vision problems. Distance-center bifocal contact lenses, in particular, have been shown to help slow down the progression of myopia symptoms over time.
For those unable or unwilling to wear contact lenses, another way to slow down the progression of myopia is by using eye drops containing very low dose Atropine at bedtime.
4. Multifocal Eyeglasses
Like contact lenses, multifocal eyeglasses can help to reduce strain on the eyes and keep your child's vision in good working order. One study found that wearing the proper eyeglasses reduced the progression of participants' myopia by one-third.
5. Outdoor Time
Studies have found that when a child has signs of becoming myopic, but not yet myopic, that just being outside seems to help reduce the chance of the child becoming myopic.
See an Eye Doctor in Fort Myers about Your Child's Myopia Today
Myopia is treatable, and our experienced optometrist can help protect your child's vision for years to come. If your child simply needs a vision test or you are looking for another type of eye care, we would be happy to discuss options with your family. Call Fort Myers Eye Associates, P.A., to set up your appointment or consultation today at 239-437-2004.