What is myopia?
Myopia is the clinical term for nearsightedness. Nearsighted eyes see nearby objects clearly, while objects far away are blurry without glasses. In order to have clear vision, the cornea (the clear window in the front of the eye) and the lens inside the eye work together to focus images on the back of the eye (the retina). If the eye is too short or too long, the ability to accurately see the world decreases because the cornea and lens cannot focus the light onto the retina properly. Myopia usually results from the eye being too long.
Just like feet get bigger and children get taller, the nearsighted eye tends to get longer over time. This means nearsighted children often need to get stronger glasses every year as their eyes continue to grow.
What causes myopia?
Researchers are not sure exactly what causes myopia, but it is understood that genetics play an important role. Studies have shown that if a child has one parent who is nearsighted, the child is 2x as likely to develop myopia than if neither of the child’s parents were nearsighted. If the child has two nearsighted parents, the child is over 5x more likely to develop myopia.
Environment also seems to play a role in the development of nearsightedness.
How can I correct myopia?
Myopia causes far away objects to look blurry, this can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery. There are also ways to control the growth of myopia.
Why control myopia?
Myopia treatments have shown to reduce a person’s myopia by up to 60%, which could reduce the need for wearing glasses or contact lenses. Myopia has also been associated with common vision-threatening conditions, like cataracts, primary open angle glaucoma
and retina detachments.
The risk of developing these conditions depends on the severity of myopia; therefore, reducing a person’s myopia could also decrease his or her chances of developing one of these vision-threatening diseases.
What are some of the treatment options for controlling myopia?
1. Contact lenses (50% reduction in myopia)
Specialty 1-day disposable contact lenses for myopia prevention
2. Spectacle lenses (33% reduction in myopia)
Progressive addition lenses
3. Low dose nightly atropine 0.01% eye drops (60% reduction in myopia)
Talk to our MiSight-certified optometrist Dr Theiss to go over your options when it comes to myopia prevention strategies and your child. The earlier these treatments are started, the more dramatic results are found.