If your child has myopia (nearsightedness), you're probably wondering if there’s a cure — or at least something that can be done to slow its progression so your child doesn't need stronger glasses year after year.
There's good news: A number of recent studies suggest it may indeed be possible to at least control myopia by slowing its progression during childhood and among teenagers. EYEcenter can help too!
What Is Myopia Control?
Although an outright cure for nearsightedness hasn’t been discovered, your EYEcenter doctor can offer a number of treatments that may be able to slow the progression of myopia.
Myopia Control treatments can induce changes in the structure and focusing of the eye to reduce stress and fatigue associated with the development and progression of nearsightedness.
Slowing the progression of myopia may keep your child from developing high levels of nearsightedness that require thick, corrective eyeglasses and have been associated with serious eye problems later in life, such as early cataracts or even a detached retina.
Currently, a few types of treatment are showing promise for controlling myopia:
Orthokeratology is the use of specially designed gas permeable contact lenses that are worn during sleep at night to temporarily correct nearsightedness and other vision problems so glasses and contact lenses aren't needed during waking hours.
EYEcenter doctors can also use "ortho-k" lenses to also control myopia progression in children. Evidence suggests nearsighted kids who undergo several years of orthokeratology may end up with less myopia as adults, compared with children who wear eyeglasses or regular contact lenses during the peak years for myopia progression.
Many eye care practitioners refer to these lenses as "corneal reshaping lenses" or "corneal refractive therapy (CRT)" lenses rather than ortho-k lenses, though the lens designs may be similar.
Multifocal Contact Lenses
Multifocal contacts are special lenses that have different powers in different zones of the lens to correct presbyopia as well as nearsightedness or farsightedness (with or without astigmatism).
But researchers and eye doctors are finding that conventional or modified multifocal soft contact lenses also are effective tools for myopia control.
Multifocal eyeglasses also have been tested for myopia control in children, but results have been less impressive than those produced with multifocal contacts.
Detecting Myopia Early
The best way to take advantage of methods to control myopia is to detect nearsightedness early.
Even if your child is not complaining of vision problems (nearsighted kids often are excellent students and have no visual complaints when reading or doing other schoolwork), it's important to schedule routine eye exams for your children, starting before they enter preschool.
Call us today or click here to schedule an exam for your child.
Want to learn more? Click here for a Q&A with our resident myopia control expert. Dr. Lilley. You can also listen to the Q&A below:
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.