What causes myopia (nearsightedness)? Genes are only part of the answer and the other culprit includes demands on near vision and amount of time spent outdoors. Additionally, several studies have shown that a child with one or both parents nearsighted increases the risk of myopia. A recent estimate in 2016 put the number of myopic individuals at 1.4 billion (~20% of the world population). By 2050, that estimate is projected to grow to 4.7 billion (~50% of the world population).
Myopia is a condition that is associated with blurred vision at distance although vision at near is clear. Halting the progression of myopia could impact the lives of about 42 million children in the U.S. Once myopia begins in children 8 to 13 years old, it usually gets worse each year. As the myopia increases so does the length of the eye developing retinal stretching.
Myopia not only causes vision difficulties for seeing but also causes an increase in sight threatening eye diseases such as myopic macular degeneration, cataract, glaucoma, retinal holes and tears, and retinal detachments as the retina stretches from the prescription increases. Our doctors are concerned about the potential risk and are recommending that you consider an intervention to help limit the progression of your child’s increasing myopia as a preventative program.
Until there is a cure for myopia altogether, the purpose of myopia management aims to slow these rapidly rising rates of myopia for those who are at-risk for potential onset of myopia or would like to slow the progression of their myopia.
Here at Vision Therapy Institute, Dr. Davis offers the following treatment modalities. In addition to the success of our management programs, one of the things we are most proud of is the unprecedented access to the doctor you receive throughout your treatment. You will received a direct line to Dr. Davis to text or call for all questions and concerns.
Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT)
These specially designed contact lenses are designed to be worn at night only, put in right before bed and taken out in the morning. Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) lenses are custom contact lenses that gently and comfortably reshape the front surface of the eye during the night, with an effect that lasts all day. These lenses are customized for each child to fit their eye and are designed to help reduce the progression of myopia. Parents appreciate that these lenses stay at home, so there is no risk of a child losing them outside the home. An added benefit of CRT lenses is that your child will be able to see without the need for glasses or regular contacts during the day, so they can see clearly in school and for sports and other activities.
Daytime Specialized Soft Contact Lenses
These customized contact lenses are designed to be placed on the eye in the morning and removed each night. They have a special optical design to reduce the progression of myopia while providing clear vision during the day. This treatment allows children to be free from glasses all day while providing excellent comfort and vision for all their activities.
Low-dose Atropine Ophthalmic Solutions Eye Drops
Another treatment alternative is a prescription eye drop, formulated to a specific concentration known to reduce the progression of myopia. These drops are applied at night before bed, according to the schedule your doctor recommends. The child wears glasses or contact lenses during the day. This treatment is excellent for families concerned if their child is ready for a contact lens treatment, and often used for younger children or those showing rapid progression.