Myopia control is a recently-developed technique which acts as an alternative to using corrective lenses or laser surgery to help nearsighted people gain clear vision.
The process depends on the latest ocular understanding and techniques, and aims to reduce the rate at which myopia progresses. At Armstrong Optometry & Associates, we are experts in delivering tailored, case-by-case treatment for both adults and children.
Current Technology and Treatment Methods
Myopia is one of the fastest-growing eye problems in the world today, potentially due to our new dependence on smartphones and other screen-based technology. As a result, research is always ongoing and we stay up-to-date with the latest control techniques.
Corneal Reshaping Therapy
While most contact lenses are used during the day to correctly focus incoming light, corneal reshaping therapy (CRT) uses special, rigid lenses which are placed over the eyes at night. They influence the corneal shape as you sleep such that, during the day, your eye focuses light correctly and you have no need for lenses or glasses.
Atropine Eye Drops
Studies as recent as 2010 have found that using atropine drops helped reduce myopia growth by up to 81% among nearsighted children. They work by dilating the pupil and, accordingly, allowing the eye focusing muscles to relax, similar to how we might alleviate digital eye strain.
The use of soft contact lenses which offer correction for both near and farsightedness has also been shown to slow myopia development. By reducing the eye’s desire to grow – thus limiting the amount lengthening undergone by the cornea – the condition is quite well controlled. This can also be achieved with glasses, though research is ongoing.
Signs Your Child May Have Myopia
If your child exhibits any difficulty working with close-up objects, viewing TV or reading, they may be nearsighted. The following is a brief list of actions to look out for:
- Regular squinting
- Eye strain
- Shyness or social exclusion (could indicate a number of visual problems)
Useful Information on Myopia
One of the biggest catalysts for myopia control research is the fact that its prevalence is sharply increasing. A more severe form of the condition – known as degenerative myopia – currently affects around 2% of the US population, often children.
Essentially the cornea lengthens much faster than usual, rendering current control methods virtually obsolete. A combination of eye drops and laser therapy may be sufficient to control the disease – remember to take your child for an eye exam every year as they grow up!