Myopia is a widespread refractive error commonly known as nearsightedness. It causes light to come into focus before it reaches the retina in the back of your eye.
When light focuses before it reaches the retina, objects in the distance are blurry while things near your eyes are clear. Keep reading to learn more about myopia and how you can control this common refractive error if your children are nearsighted.
What Causes Myopia?
A properly functioning eye focuses light through the cornea, pupil, and lens onto the retina. But if your eyeball is too long or your cornea is too rounded, then light focuses in front of your retina, not on it.
Myopia usually begins at an early age. It develops and worsens as the eyes mature and change but tapers off during adolescence.
Myopia is the most common refractive error in children and people under the age of forty. If your child has been diagnosed with myopia, there are ways to treat it so you can help them see clearly.
Why Do You Need to Control Your Child’s Myopia?
Myopia during your child’s formative years can have negative impacts on their life. It causes symptoms like poor vision, eye strain, constant squinting, and even headaches.
These symptoms can affect their learning and ability to focus. For this reason, myopia control is necessary.
Doctors use several different methods to limit the progression of myopia. Controlling it helps your child avoid getting overwhelmed with their nearsightedness. It also prevents other complications that occur in myopic eyes like cataracts.
The Different Kinds of Myopia Control
Doctors control myopia with four different methods. These methods are atropine eye drops, multifocal contacts, multifocal glasses, and orthokeratology.
Atropine Eye Drops
Atropine eye drops are a special kind of medication commonly used to reduce eye pain. But, they also limit the eye’s ability to change focus.
Limiting the eye’s ability to focus is essential in children with myopia. When you have myopia, your eyes are continually focusing in an attempt to see clearly.
Of course, this can’t happen, but the non-stop effort is natural and causes eye strain and fatigue. These eye drops end the fatigue by limiting continual focusing.
Atropine drops are incredibly effective at myopia control. They can reduce myopia progression by up to 77 percent.
Typically, multifocal contacts are a treatment for people with existing refractive errors. They change the way light enters the eye and can provide vision at near distances as well as far.
Children with myopia often benefit from wearing multifocal contacts daily. They can reduce myopia progression by up to 50 percent.
Multifocal glasses can also benefit children who have nearsightedness. Multifocal glasses are not as effective as other myopia control methods, but they are better than nothing.
Orthokeratology, or Ortho-k, is a different approach to myopia control. Ortho-k also uses contacts, but you only wear these specially designed lenses at night.
The lenses are gas permeable contacts, and they act like braces for your corneas. They cause the cornea to flatten overnight to counteract a curved cornea, which causes myopia.
The effects of Ortho-k lenses can last the entire day. But, you must wear the lenses every night.
Questions about myopia control? Book an appointment at Stahl Eyecare Experts in Manhattan, NY, to find the best myopia treatment for your child.