What is Myopia?
Myopia (near sightedness) is an ocular condition that is becoming an epidemic. It is estimated that 50% of the world population will be myopic in 2050. Myopia is a result of the eye ball growing too long in length or, the curvature of the cornea being too steep. This results in light being focused in front of the retina. The most common symptom associated is blurred vision at distance. There are many other associated risks such as retinal detachments, macular degeneration, cataracts and, glaucoma. These conditions can result in permanent visual impairment.
More information on Myopia can be obtained from the World Health Organizations report on Myopia, seen here: https://www.who.int/blindness/causes/MyopiaReportforWeb.pdf
What causes Myopia?
The exact causes of Myopia are unknown, however there is evidence of genetic and environmental causes. Children with parents who are myopic are at greater risk. Too much near work/screen time, as well as not enough time spent outdoors also increases risk.
School aged children are typically diagnosed with myopia during routine annual eye exams or when children complain of blurry distance vision. As children get older, myopia can progress quickly. Children with myopia should have an eye exam at least once per year or more depending on progression.
Treatment options for Myopia
There is no cure for myopia but there are options for slowing the progression. Historically myopia has been treated with glasses and contacts to correct blurred distance vision. Treatment options to slow myopic progression include: soft contact lenses, prescription eye drops, MiyoSmart lenses and, orthokeratology.
Soft Contact Lens: There is a soft contact lens called MiSight that is FDA approved for myopia control. Patients who used this treatment option had a 50% reduction of myopia progression. These contact lenses are daily disposable, your child will wear the contact lenses during the day and it will also correct their distance vision.
Further reading material can be seen here: https://coopervision.ca/sites/coopervision.ca/files/a_3-year_randomized_clinical_trial_of_misight_lenses_for_myopia_control.pdf
Prescription Eye Drops: Atropine eye drops have been used for years to slow the progression of myopia. The prescription drops will be obtained from a pharmacy and your child will use the drops daily. There was a decrease in up to 80% reduction based on the drop dosage. Well known studies such as ATOM 1 and ATOM 2 detail their findings: https://www.aao.org/Assets/28fe020e-5f93-4d06-aac1-889cecb15fb2/635835505202800000/atropine-for-myopia-5-yr-clinical-trial-ophthalmology-2015-pdf?inline=1
Orthokeratology: This treatment type involves your child wearing a hard contact lens to sleep every night. Upon wakening, your child will have clear distance vision without any correction throughout the day. This treatment type could result in a 50% decrease in myopia progression. There are many studies that prove the effectiveness of orthokeratology one of them can be read here: https://www.aaojournal.org/article/S0161-6420(18)33073-2/pdf
MiyoSmart Lenses: This is the latest treatment in myopia management. Lenses with Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments (D.I.M.S) technology results in a 60% reduction in myopia progression. These lenses look like normal lenses and come with anti-reflective coating as well as being impact resistant. Visit True Vision Optometry for Miyosmart lenses for your child today.
One of the studies that prove the effectiveness of MiyoSmart lenses can be read here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31142465/
For more information, book a consultation with our optometrists today.