Myopia is another name for nearsightedness, which happens when kids
can see well up close but need glasses for distance vision. This condition
affects about one-third of the American population. Multiple studies show that myopia is becoming much more common in children, showing up at earlier ages and progressing more rapidly. Unfortunately, higher levels of myopia significantly increase your child's risk for eye disorders such as glaucoma, and retinal disease.
Types of Myopia Control in Pediatric Optometry
While scientists have studied multiple myopia control options, only a few have shown effectiveness at slowing the progression of this condition in children. Glasses compensate for blurry distance vision, but they do not stop your child's vision from continuing to deteriorate. The following three techniques are among the most frequently used:
- Atropine Drops: Eye drops containing atropine may be used alone or in conjunction with another therapy for myopia control. The use of these drops continues as long as the nearsightedness worsens.
- Specialty Contact Lenses: For children old enough to wear contact lenses during the day, soft multifocal lenses have shown to slow down the rate of myopia progression.
- Orthokeratology: This method requires your child to wear specialty hard contact lenses at night to reshape the eye. In the morning, your child takes out the lenses and can go the rest of the day without glasses or contacts.
Testing for Myopia
Because myopia is a condition that optometrists cannot reverse, diagnosing it as soon as possible is important. You should schedule regular eye exams for your child to monitor the current state of their vision. With a baseline of your child's normal vision, our optometrists can readily identify any changes that could indicate progressive myopia.