MYOPIA CONTROL FOR CHILDREN
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR MYOPIA WE OFFER AT THIS PRACTICE
We offer a number of strategies to help reduce the progression of childhood myopia and limit the final extent of myopia present as your child ages. Treatment options range from spectacles, contact lenses, eye drops, and general lifestyle modification advice.
Orthokeratology: Custom made rigid contact lenses are worn overnight reshaping the cornea to restore normal vision once more in the morning. These lenses act as a retainer, similar to braces used in dentistry, altering the corneal shape at a microscopic level. These retainer lenses provide accurate central vision, whilst the peripheral retinal image is moved in front of the retina, sending a signal to the eye to reduce ongoing elongation. Using OrthoK contact lenses has been shown to reduce myopia by about 50%.
MiSight contact lenses by Coopervision: The use of specific soft multifocal contact lenses can reduce the rate of myopia by up to 50%. These contact lenses maintain a clear image on the central retina, whilst moving the peripheral retinal image forwards in front of the retinal surface. With the peripheral retinal image in front of the retina, a signal is sent to the eye to reduce the elongation (growth) of the eye and therefore reducing the rate of myopic progression.
MyoVision spectacle lenses: The MyoVision spectacle lens is special single vision lens created by ZEISS. The lens is designed to moves the peripheral retinal image in front of the retina while maintaining the central image on the retina. Research suggests this lens sends a signal to the eye to reduce elongation of the eyeball and therefore reducing the degree of myopia. It has been shown this lens may reduce myopia progression by up to 15% however the results are varied between individuals.
Atropine eye drops: Atropine eye drops have been shown to be effective in the reduction of myopic progression. Longer term studies show myopia progression can be reduced by up to 50% with Atropine drops, however when used in their full strength they typically have side effects such as blurred near vision, and increased glare sensitivity making their popularity somewhat limited.
Recently however, research has shown that the equivalent beneficial effects on reducing myopia, can still be made with Atropine in a low strength formula (100 times weaker), effectively removing the majority of the side effects associated with the full strength version, whilst still maintaining excellent myopia prevention. Low strength Atropine is usually dispensed as one drop nightly before bed and can only be made by special order through a compounding pharmacy with a written prescription which we can provide for you.
Progressive / Bifocal lenses: Progressive lenss or bifocals have been shown to have varied results in terms of reducing the progression of myopia. In some sudies the effect of these lens has been the same as wearing standard distance glasses, however in a small subset of children with a tendancy to slightly 'cross' their eyes with near tasks, the results are more promising, showing up to a 30% reduction in myopia progression.
Lifestyle modications: Studies suggest that 14 hours spent outdoors per week appears to have a protective effect on the eye developing myopia. This means spending at least 2 hours per day performing outdoor activity can be beneficial for children in maintaining excellent distance vision. Swapping the ipad or TV for more outdoor play can have a positive impact on reducing myopia. It is important to remember good sunglasses are required for outdoor activiites to minimise the harmful effects of UV damage while outdoors.