Myopia Control In Children

Artisan Eye

Optometrists located in Lakewood Ranch, FL

The percentage of children with myopia, or nearsightedness, continues to increase. In addition, the number of children with higher amounts of myopia continues to climb. At Artisan Eye in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, Kara Collier, OD, and Cory Collier, OD, use the latest scientifically-backed methods to slow the progression of myopia, when appropriate. These strategies not only impact your child’s vision today but can help decrease the likelihood of them developing vision-threatening conditions related to myopia later in life. To see if your child may benefit from myopia control, request an appointment online or over the phone today.

Myopia Control in Children Q & A

What is myopia?

Myopia is commonly known as nearsightedness. People with myopia can see clearly up close, but objects in the distance will seem blurry. Severe myopia can also impede near vision as well. This condition is caused by the way light is focused in the eye.

What causes myopia?

Myopia is thought to be related to both genetics and environmental factors including near work and decreased time outdoors. Within the eye, myopia is commonly caused by the eye being longer than usual. Throughout childhood, we expect the eye to continue to grow, however in near-sighted children this growth occurs at a faster rate, often leading to the need to get stronger glasses every year to keep up with increasing myopia.

Why should I try to control myopia in my child?

In patients with myopia, the eye continues to grow at a rapid rate throughout childhood and early adulthood. As a child, this means a consistently increasing prescription each year and poorer distance vision without glasses or contact lenses.

Later in life, myopia increases the risk for conditions such as early-onset cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and retinal detachments. The risk for these conditions increases as the number of myopia increases. By slowing or stopping the progression of myopia today, we can decrease the chance of our children developing these vision-threatening conditions later in life.

What are some of the treatments for myopia control?

While glasses and traditional contact lenses offer an immediate solution to help your child see today, they don’t prevent myopia from worsening. At Artisan Eye, our doctors use scientifically supported methods, proven to slow the progression of myopia. The three treatment options used in our office include:

  • Corneal Reshaping Contact Lenses (Orthokeratology): These lenses are worn while sleeping and removed in the morning.  They temporarily change the shape of the cornea, the clear surface of the eye, allowing the patient to see clearly without any daytime glasses or contact lenses. The new corneal shape changes the way light enters the eye, resulting in decreased eye growth and myopia progression.
  • Soft Multifocal Contact Lenses: These lenses are commonly worn by people 40 years and older to help them see clearly in the distance as well as to read. Studies have shown that when these lenses are worn during the day by children, they have the ability to slow the progression of myopia. They too change the way light enters the eye, decreasing eye growth.
  • Atropine Eye Drops: It is unclear how atropine slows myopia development, but studies have shown it is able to have a significant impact in decreasing unwanted eye growth. While atropine eye drops are used to treat other conditions in the eye, they dilate or enlarge the pupil and create blurry near vision. When the concentration is decreased to a very low dose, the myopia control characteristics are still present without the unwanted side-effects.

What testing happens during a Myopia Control Exam?

Using the most up-to-date practice guidelines, Dr. Cory Collier performs myopia control assessments, to evaluate if a child should begin myopia control and if so, which treatment option is most likely to provide the best result. Some of the tests performed include:

  • Risk Factor Assessment (Age, Parent’s vision status, environmental factors)
  • Refraction
  • Corneal topography or mapping
  • Pupil size measurement
  • Eye length measurement
  • Record review when available
  • Risk Analysis Calculation
  • Patient and Parent Education

If you would like more information about myopia or how to control it in your child, request an appointment online or over the phone today.