Myopia is the eye condition in which objects close by appear clear, but the further the objects are, the more blurry they become. Also known as nearsightedness, myopia is known to affect as much as 42% of the population in the United States alone. There are myopia control treatments that have shown positive vision correction results in both adults and children. The Institute for Control of Eye Myopia in Children shares these treatments.
Atropine Eye Drops — Atropine is a type of medication that is used before eye examinations. It works by dilating the pupil of the eye and relaxing the focus center. Low-dose atropine drops are used for slowing down the progress of myopia. This is ideal for kids who have started to show signs of nearsightedness, as it is noninvasive and the treatment can be tailored by the eye care specialist to individual patients. It should be noted that atropine may trigger an allergic reaction to some individuals, therefore an allergy test should be conducted before greenlighting a treatment.
Orthokeratology — Orthokeratology, or simply “ortho-k,” is a type of vision therapy that uses specially designed contact lenses to reshape the corneas, reducing the irregularities that cause myopia. Unlike typical contact lenses, ortho-k lenses are worn while sleeping. These lenses gradually “mold” the corneas overnight; the patient can take them off upon waking up and experience pronounced visual acuity. The effect may last up to a full day.
Distance-Center Multifocal Contact Lenses — Distance-center multifocal soft contact lenses are a type of soft contact lenses that help slow down the progression of myopia. Children as young as eight years old can undergo this treatment without any complications. Thanks to the latest soft lens technologies, children and adults can engage in sports and other vigorous activities without worrying about the lenses popping out.
Multifocal Eyeglasses — Most people are familiar with bifocals, those eyeglasses that have two different lens powers, made from different pieces of glass. Multifocal eyeglasses are similar to bifocals, except that there could be more than two lens powers in them. This treats patients with astigmatism (blurred vision whether near or far), as well as certain cases of presbyopia (farsightedness) and myopia. Modern manufacturing technologies now allow lenses with invisible division between powers, creating a cleaner look.
The Institute for Control of Eye Myopia in Children can help you learn more about which myopia treatment is best for you or your child. Contact a local specialist in your area to schedule an eye exam.