Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a common disorder that is characterized by difficulty in seeing distant objects clearly. There is a marked recent increase of myopia cases among children. This means that even if your child isn’t showing signs, myopia control an early age may be beneficial to their later years. Your local optometrist Lifetime Vision Source shares an overview of how myopia control works.
What is Myopia Control?
Myopia is characterized by the lengthening of the eyeball, which changes the way the eyes focus on distant objects. Corrective methods include wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses. Myopia control helps prevent the progression of myopia through treatments that slow down the lengthening of the eyeball. Myopia control is particularly effective in children and teenagers as their eyes ares still developing at this age range. Not only does myopia control keep eyewear prescriptions low, it also helps reduce risks of cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration.
While eyeglasses have become fashionable in recent years, not all children (and adults, for that matter) are comfortable in wearing them. Others would rather not be bothered wearing contact lenses. 28% of the US population is diagnosed with myopia, and is expected to increase to 50% by the year 2050. Taking the preventive route through myopia control may currently be your best option.
Types of Myopia Control
Myopia control programs can be tailored for every child. The first step is to schedule a pediatric eye exam to evaluate the extent of myopia. The following are the types of treatments used for myopia control.
Multifocal Eyeglasses or Contact Lenses — You’re probably familiar with traditional bifocal or multifocal eyeglasses, or eyeglasses with segmented lenses. Today’s multifocals feature progressive lenses that feature multiple prescriptions without lines. Multifocal contact lenses work the same way, which helps correct vision without needing to switch between prescriptions.
Orthokeratology — Also known as corneal refractive therapy or “Ortho-K,” orthokeratology uses special contact lenses designed to be worn during sleep. These contacts reshape the cornea and helps counter the lengthening of the eyeball, and works best in children because of their still-developing eyes.
Atropine Drops — A few drops of atropine allows the eyes to dilate, which helps counter the progression of myopia. Atropine often is used in combination with Ortho-K.