What is Myopia?
Myopia, more commonly referred to as nearsightedness, is an epidemic that is on the rise. It is primarily linked to two factors:
A child with one myopic parent has a 1 in 4 chance of becoming myopic. The risk increases to a 1 in 2 chance if both parents are myopic.
Children who spend more time on activities like reading or using handheld devices instead of spending time outdoors are more likely to become myopic.
In the US, diagnoses of myopia in children have doubled over the course of just a single generation.
Researches are predicting that by 2050, the incidence of myopia will increase by a further 40% over today’s epidemic-levels of occurrence. This would translate into almost 60 million kids under the age of 17 suffering from myopia.
As parents, it is alarming to see our child’s vision deteriorate every year. Parents who remember getting glasses themselves feared it was just a matter of time before their children needed them too. But the rate and severity of myopia is growing so significantly, that researchers believe there are other contributing factors beyond genetics.
What Are The Risk Factors of Becoming More Myopic?
Age: Rate of myopia onset is associated with age, with onset at younger age leading to a higher risk of developing Myopia.
Prescription Changes: If your child’s prescription makes a large change, myopia will likely continue to change with age.
Parent’s Myopia: There isn’t a definitive hereditary association but research has shown that there is a greater risk of myopia development if parents are myopic.
Close Work: The risk of myopia progression is usually higher the more the child reads and does near work.
The Dangers of Myopia
We once believed the worst part of Myopia was declining vision and stronger glasses. We now know there’s more to worry about than thickening glasses.
It is clinically proven that more severe myopia leads to a significant increase in the risk of more serious eye diseases later in life. Diseases such as macular degeneration, retinal detachment, cataracts, and glaucoma, which can all lead to blindness.
Until recently, researchers believed that only severely advanced cases of Myopia could be blamed for patients developing severe eye diseases. Recent studies confirmed an increase in the risk of more serious eye diseases from any amount of myopia.
This has lead researchers to believe that no amount of myopia is safe.
Why You Should Come To Us
We customize the myopia management to each patient. Orthokeratology is a type of contact lens therapy that reshapes the cornea to reduce the amount of eye growth. This decreases the amount of myopia progression. And the great part is, this is all accomplished during sleep! In the morning, the contact lenses are removed and there is freedom from wearing glasses or contacts during the day! There are also indications for multifocal contact lenses in children to control myopic progression. Using drops in the eyes is also an option with great success. This is known as atropine therapy. Studies also show that increasing the amount of time that is spent outdoors is a very important aspect of controlling this worldwide epidemic.
What Treatment Options Are Available?
Orthokeratology, or “ortho-k,” is the process of reshaping the eye with specially-designed rigid gas permeable contact lenses. The goal of ortho-k is to flatten the front surface of the eye and thereby correct mild to moderate amounts of nearsightedness and astigmatism.
MiSight Multifocal Contact Lenses
A few carefully selected designs of multifocal soft contacts can be helpful in slowing myopic changes. MiSight’s lens design slows down eye growth, reducing myopia progression while allowing children to see clearly at the same time. These innovative lenses are worn like daily disposable soft contact lenses that are used by teens and adults, and have been proven to be very safe for use by children.