Myopia (Nearsightedness) Control and Therapy

What is Myopia?

Myopia, or near-sightedness, is a vision condition in which, without a vision correction, near objects are seen clearly, but distant objects are out of focus.

Why does myopia occur?

When the eyeball is too long or the cornea too curved, light entering the eye is not focused properly on the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eye, which makes objects in the distance appear blurry.

How common is myopia?

Myopia is a very common visual condition that starts in childhood and can increase until a person is about 21 years old. According to a 2018 Canadian study, myopia affects 17% of children aged 6-13. Prevalence has been increasing over the past few decades.

Risk Factors

Genetics

Children with one or more parents with myopia are at greater risk of being myopic

Near Work

Too much time looking at material up close, including screens, and especially when children are young

Environment

Not enough time spent outdoors; later bedtimes

Ethnicity

Asian children have a higher likelihood of being myopic

Complications

There is no “safe” level of myopia.

The risk of other eye diseases increases with myopia:

  • 30% increased risk of retinal detachment

  • 21% increased risk of cataracts

  • 20% increased risk of glaucoma

How can an optometrist help?

When an optometrist conducts a comprehensive eye examination, they will include tests to determine whether myopia is present.

An optometrist will:

  • Identify risk factors

  • Provide education to parents and patients

  • Discuss and prescribe appropriate interventions to slow down myopia progression

  • Monitor change over time

Does myopia mean a prescription for glasses?

An optometrist may identify both behavioral and clinical treatments for children with myopia.

Behavioral treatments

  • Increasing the time spent outdoors

  • Reducing the time spent working at short distances

  • Limiting screen use

  • Avoiding the use of LED lighting for near work

  • Going to bed earlier

Clinical treatments

  • Glasses

  • Contact lenses

  • Eye drops

Will these treatments cure myopia?

There are interventions like eyeglasses or contact lenses that can slow down the progression of myopia, but they cannot cure it. An optometrist can help select the treatment that best meets the needs of the patient.

Book an appointment for your child to see the optometrist today. Learn more at opto.ca

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What are my child's options for myopia control and therapy?

1. Accelerated Orthokeratology

AOK is a method of reshaping the cornea of the eye without surgery. Oxygen permeable contact lens are worn during sleep which flattens the cornea and reduces myopia (nearsightedness). These lenses are extremely comfortable and safe.

Orthokeratology is currently the most effective method for myopia control.
  • Extremely well tolerated by children.

  • Provides great vision during the day without any need of glasses or contact lenses.

  • Myopia control rates are very high with most patients obtaining from 80 to 100% control.

 

With the advances in AOK lens designs and computer-assisted lathe production, we are able to reduce myopia significantly in a matter of days. Within 7 days most patients achieve 20/20 vision without the use of any glasses or contact lenses during the day. Orthokeratology has been shown to control myopia and prevent further progression. The technique is extremely effective and well tolerated by children.

   AOK technology is for you if:

  • You want myopia control.

  • You do water sports.

  • Dry eyes prevent you from wearing daily contact lenses.

  • You cannot have laser refractive surgery.

  • Your prescription is still changing.

  • You want to have a reversible corrective procedure.

Recent studies have shown that AOK controls the increase in the eye’s axial length (the greater the axial length, the higher the myopia) in children. This translates to lower prescriptions once the eye reaches adult maturity.

2. Myopia Control Spectacle Lenses

MiyoSmart is an award-winning solution designed to slow down the progression of myopia in myopic children and adolescents by up to 59%.

Child-friendly, easy to adapt and non-invasive

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3. Myopia Control Soft Contact Lenses

The lens clinically proved to slow the progression of myopia, decelerating the elongation of the eye and fully correcting refractive error in children 8-12 years old, it is easy to fit and, single-use.

https://coopervision.ca/sites/coopervision.ca/files/a_3-year_randomized_clinical_trial_of_misight_lenses_for_myopia_control.pdf

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4. Atropine Drops

Low concentration Atropine has recently been found to help slow down the rate of myopia progression and controlling axial elongation. Because of the lower concentration, side effects are lesser than that of full concentration Atropine.

Our optometrists can work with you and your child to determine the concentration of Atropine that will give optimal myopia control and minimal side effects. Lower concentrations of Atropine are not available at a regular pharmacy, but a compounding pharmacy will be able to get the appropriate concentration for your child.