What is Myopia?
Myopia (nearsightedness) occurs if the cornea (outer layer of the eye) is curved too much or the eye grows too long. This makes distant objects blurry while up-close vision is clear. People of all ages can have this refractive error, but it is growing rapidly in children. Some experts are calling it a public health crisis, estimating that half of the world’s population may be nearsighted by the year 2050. The increase in digital screen time may be one of the culprits causing this increase in myopia.
Prescription glasses or contact lenses are the traditional methods that allow people with myopia to see clearly. At Premier Eye Care & Surgery, our team may also be able to provide treatments to slow the progression of this vision condition in children and reduce the risk of vision problems in the future.
Methods to Slow Progression of Myopia
We can examine their eye health to determine if one of these treatments would help reduce or eliminate their need for glasses or contacts and/or slow the progression of myopia:
- Daily disposable contact lenses called MiSight®. These FDA-approved lenses are designed for children ages 8-12 by using alternating treatment zones to signal the eye to slow the rate of eye lengthening.
- Center-distance soft multifocal contact lenses to provide vision correction and slow axial elongation.
- Orthokeratology (ortho-k), the temporary reshaping of the cornea by wearing special contact lenses at night.
- Daily low-dose atropine eye drops to reduce eye lengthening.
Lifestyle Changes to Slow the Progression of Myopia
There are 2 specific lifestyle tips you can incorporate immediately to slow the progression of myopia in children:
- Sunlight: get your kids outdoors for 1-2 hours every day.
- 20/20/20 breaks during digital screen time: every 20 minutes, take a break for 20 seconds and look at something 20 feet away.
Risks of High Myopia
High myopia is defined as needing a vision prescription of -6.00 diopters or more. This condition can increase the risk of developing cataracts, retina problems (such as retinal detachment), glaucoma and myopic macular degeneration over time. Parents can help their children protect their eyesight now and into the future by managing myopia progression during childhood to avoid it becoming high myopia.
We encourage you to schedule regular eye exams to stay proactive, help diagnose problems early and monitor the progression of any vision changes. Contact us today at (847) 459-6060 (Buffalo Grove office) or (847) 382-4116 (Barrington office) to request an appointment.