Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a very common condition, which makes it difficult to see things in the distance. In most cases, myopia begins in childhood and then progresses as your child gets older. While there is no cure for myopia, studies have shown that the progression of the condition can be slowed during childhood. There are treatment methods that can be effective in slowing the progression of the disease up until your child is a teenager. Of the few treatments that can slow the progression of myopia, the one that our optometrist at Foster Vision chooses would depend on the severity of your child's condition and their lifestyle.
Your eye doctor might recommend atropine drops for myopia control. Atropine drops are different than the drops that your eye doctor uses to dilate your eyes during an exam. The dilation drops wear off after an hour or two, and atropine drops take a week or longer to wear off.
The atropine drops dilate the pupil. They also relax the focusing mechanism of your child's eyes and paralyze accommodation temporarily. In most cases, your eye doctor will discontinue the atropine drops after one year.
Multifocal Contact Lenses
Multifocal contacts have different powers in different zones of the lens. These lenses can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and presbyopia. A study was performed to determine the effectiveness of these lenses for myopia control. In 70 percent of the children participating in the study, researchers found that their myopia progressed was reduced by 30 percent or more.
Like multifocal contacts, multifocal contacts contain more than one prescription in the lens. These eyeglasses aren't as effective as multifocal contacts when it comes to myopia control. However, if your child cannot get used to contact lenses, multifocal glasses are an alternative.
Orthokeratology, also known as Ortho-K, is a specially designed contact lens. Your wear the contacts at night while you sleep. During the night, the contacts would reshape the user’s cornea, to correct for refractive errors. In the morning, the contacts are removed. As long as the contacts are worn every night, perfect vision can be enjoyed all day long. If your child suffering from myopia wears Ortho-K contacts for several years, he or she will have less myopia in the future. This treatment provides much better results than wearing eyeglasses or regular contact lenses.
If your children have been diagnosed with myopia, it is essential to get it under control when they are still young. Early eye care, while your children’s eyes are still maturing, it is the best time to slow the progression of this condition. Our doctor of optometry at Foster Vision in Portland can recommend myopia control treatments. To schedule an appointment, give us a call today (503) 546-4460.