Myopia (nearsighted) is a condition that results in blurred distance vision. This refractive error is very common among children and young adults. Myopia is the result of light refracting incorrectly inside of the eye. Rather than reflecting light onto the retina, the center of focus becomes the space in front of the retina. Myopia is often the result of an eye that has grown too long for the system. Myopia can also be the result of a cornea that is curved more than normal, or a lens in the eye that is too thick.
Sometimes Myopia is referred to as “nearsightedness”, because objects at near distances are easier to see relative to objects at far distances. This disorder generally develops in childhood and increases through adulthood, if nothing is done. There are people that will experience adult onset myopia and it is common in adults who change their viewing habits. Examples include starting law or medical school, taking a job that requires looking at a screen for extended periods of time or even being on a submarine. Some common signs and symptoms of Myopia in children are squinting, getting close to objects (such as the TV), holding objects closer than expected, eye fatigue, and eye rubbing.
2.3 billion people have myopia currently, and if nothing is done about it, that number is expected to reach 5 billion by 2050. (According to researchers at the Brien Holden Vision Institute.)
Graph credit: https://www.brienholdenvision.org/myopia-prevalence.html
The number we are most impressed by? One. The one child that we are in front of.
Our concern with myopia is not just the number in the glasses prescription. Our concern is the increased lifetime prevalence of serious eye conditions that occurs with every higher level of myopia.
The lower your child’s prescription, the lower the risk for serious conditions.
Our team of experts will work with you and your child to customize a treatment plan to address your child’s myopia. By working together, you can rest assured that we are doing whatever we can to safely reduce the deterioration of your child’s myopia.
Currently there are three research proven methods that are implemented as myopia management programs in our practice. These include:
Corneal Reshaping Therapy (CRT)
CRT lenses provide clear vision all day without the need for glasses or daytime contact lenses! CRT are specialized contact lenses worn at night while sleeping. These FDA approved lenses are safe to use in children and adults. The lens gently reshapes the cornea overnight and are removed upon wakening. Research has shown that CRT lenses can slow the progression of myopia at approximately 45-50%!
Multifocal Contact Lenses (MFCL)
MFCL’s are an option to slow down the progression of myopia. With an effective range of 35-50% these day time wear lenses are a great option for children. Our doctors are experts in fitting the latest technology of MFCL’s, that have been shown to be highly effective at slowing the progression of myopia as shared in this article.
Atropine Eye Drops
Atropine eye drops have been investigated for decades in its role for reducing myopia progression. At its full concentration Atropine drops have been proven to be effective at slowing the progression of myopia. But at the full concentration the drop causes significant blurred vision and light sensitivity. Researchers have been working to find a concentration that minimizes the negative side effects while maintaining the effectiveness of myopia control. Our doctors will work with you and your child to determine if she/he is an appropriate candidate for atropine eye drops.
Dr. Press authored an article educating eye doctors on the latest developments in managing myopia:
Dr. Press’s article educating eye doctors on myopia and technology:
Dr. Press’s lecture to other eye doctors on managing myopia:
Video by Dr. Kate Gifford on how to put in soft contact lenses
Dr. Gifford explains how to put on CRT lenses