What are Options for Myopia Management?
Myopia is also known as nearsightedness. Myopia causes the need for glasses or contacts to be worn to see clearly in the distance.
How Does Myopia Progress?
A major concern for myopia is the fact that in children, myopia typically progresses each year. In children and teenagers, it is expected that myopia will progress slightly more each year.
The reason for the progression of myopia is best understood to be due to the optics of the eye and how an eye focuses light.
An eye with myopia focuses light incorrectly and as a result causes the eye to elongate and increase the amount of myopia.
Why is Myopia Progression Bad?
Myopia progression is a concern because increased levels of myopia lead to risks for serious eye conditions, like retinal detachments, and the higher the level of myopia, the stronger the prescription is needed for glasses.
Some low amounts of myopia are not as concerning, however, as the amount of myopia increases, the risk of retinal disease increases significantly.
High amounts of myopia cause the need for strong glasses or contacts and near vision begins to be blurry at some distances.
By preventing the progression of myopia, it is possible to keep the level of myopia at low to moderate when it may otherwise have progressed to a severe high level.
The Types of Myopia Management
There are three main types of myopia management: multifocal contact lenses, pharmaceutical treatments with atropine, and corneal reshaping through orthokeratology.
Myopia Management with Multifocal Contact Lenses
There have been recent developments that lead to an FDA approved contact lens specifically for myopia management.
Even before the lens specifically created for myopia management, multifocal contact lenses have been used as a method for reducing the rate of progression in nearsightedness.
These lenses have a center portion with the distance prescription to allow for clear vision surrounded by rings of different prescription powers to help to correct the abnormal optics of an eye with myopia.
The multifocal contact lenses can be daily or monthly wear lenses and are typically easy to adapt to and provide a familiar method of correction while also helping to reduce the risk of myopia progression.
Myopia Management with Atropine Drops
Atropine is a pharmaceutical agent that is used to dilate the pupils as well as prevent the progression of myopia.
Atropine provides a similar amount of defocus to the multifocal contact lenses without requiring any contacts be worn.
The existing myopia will need to be corrected with glasses or contacts, but the myopia progression does not require any additional correction.
This is ideal for young children who are too young to wear contact lenses but still are at risk of developing high levels of myopia.
Corneal Reshaping with Orthokeratology
Corneal reshaping is a process which a rigid contact lens is worn overnight to change the curvature of the cornea and reduce the myopia present.
This process is known as orthokeratology and can be designed to correct the center of the cornea with the distance prescription and the surrounding area is designed to create the needed correction to prevent myopia progression.
Determining the Best Option for Your Needs
While there are many options to choose from, determining the best option for myopia management often comes down to what option provides the best fit given your particular situation.
Consult with your eye doctor to determine the best fit given your circumstances.
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