What is myopia?
Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, causes vision to be blurry far away without glasses. Typically, the eye is too long, resulting in blurry vision. Other factors like the shape of the lens or cornea can contribute to myopia. Traditionally, myopia has been corrected with glasses or contact lenses.
Why does my child need stronger glasses every year?
Myopia typically develops around age 8 and progresses for 10-15 years. Risk factors that increase the risk of developing myopia and rate of progression include:
-parents with myopia
-young age when myopia first diagnosed
-higher degree of myopia when first diagnosed
-certain types of focusing or eye coordination weakness
-race (Asian and Hispanic higher risk than Caucasian and African American)
-more hours of near work and holding work too close
-decreased time spent outdoors
Why should we try to slow down the progression?
High myopia increases risk for glaucoma, cataracts, retinal detachments and atrophy. The goal is to decrease the progression of myopia for a better visual outcome, and to hopefully decrease the risk of these sight-threatening complications.
What are some treatments that can help decrease the rate of progression?
These are contact lenses worn during sleep that gently reshape the cornea to correct vision. This temporary reshaping provides clear vision all day, which eliminates the need for glasses or contact lenses. This treatment corrects vision in a way that has been shown to slow the progression of myopia by about 50%. Some patients do not progress once this treatment is started.
Soft Multifocal Contact Lenses
Soft contact lenses are worn during the day to correct vision and to help slow the progression of myopia by approximately 50%. This type of contact lens is traditionally worn by adults to help them read clearly and see far away. In kids and teenagers, they correct vision in a way that helps to slow the growth of the eye.
Are these treatments FDA approved?
Studies have shown that Ortho-K and soft multifocal contact lenses can slow the progression of myopia in some children. However, the FDA has not approved the use of these lenses for this specific purpose. All contact lenses we use have been approved by the FDA, just not specifically to control myopia.
How do I find out if my child is a candidate?
You can schedule a free myopia evaluation with Dr. Lambert. A detailed evaluation will allow Dr. Lambert to decide which of these options would minimize progression as much as possible.
For the evaluation, please bring:
- Your child’s current glasses
- Records from any previous eye doctors (unless all exams were done here)
- A detailed family history including glasses or contact lens prescriptions for parents and siblings
- We will be using a dilating drop that will make the eyes sensitive to light for approximately 24 hours. Vision may also be blurry up close while dilated during this time period.
If you have any questions or would like more information, please feel free to call us at 508-339-7600.