Surveys report that myopia prevalence in the U.S. has grown by 25% in the past forty years. Moreover, the numbers are not slowing down; children are the most impacted population. Because of these statistics, researchers estimate that by 2050. half of the world's population will be myopic.
The most common treatment for myopia is prescriptive eyewear that makes your distance vision clear. However, myopia is not a static condition, especially in children. Once it develops, it progresses and worsens until the child's vision stabilizes. The problem is that the progression can lead to other severe conditions developing. This is why myopia control is critical for eye health.
Myopia is an eye condition that develops when the structure of the eye changes, affecting distance vision. Usually, the eyeball begins to elongate and the cornea bulges. These changes cause the focus of light entering the eye to fall on a spot in front of the retina. The resulting image is blurry the farther you move it from the face.
When the eyeball begins to elongate in childhood, it keeps doing so as the eye grows. This continual elongation and corneal bulging is called myopia progression. Uncontrolled myopia progression can lead to the development of other severe conditions like retinal detachment, glaucoma, or cataracts.
Over the past few decades, eye doctors have developed several strategies for myopia management and control. They have developed several theories; some are ineffective, and many are yet to be proven. However, out of all the strategies developed, four have proven effective in successfully slowing it down.
Some children have myopia and esophoria, a condition affecting the positioning of specific eye muscles. To help these children, eye doctors recommend multifocal or bifocal lenses with varying powers for distance and near vision. This method has been more effective for these children than eye drops or contact lenses.
These lenses seem like ordinary soft contact lenses, but they work differently from other soft contacts. The designers include an optical trick in the center of the lens. The optical trick affects the eye's ability to elongate progressively, leading to slower progression rates. It is one of the most recent strategies on the market, but only two brands are offering this treatment. Ask your eye doctor which of the two brands is best for your child.
Better known as ortho-k, this treatment is one of the most popular. They are specialty rigid gas-permeable lenses that you wear when you are sleeping. As you sleep, they reshape your cornea to be flatter, giving near-perfect vision the next day. Their restriction of the bulging of the cornea also slows down the elongation of the eyeball.
This is the only medication in use that slows myopia. The eye drops are applied once a day and may be used with bifocals for more impact.
For more on proven and effective methods for myopia control, visit Modern Eyecare at our office in Norwalk, Connecticut. Call (203) 902-7200 to book an appointment today.