The medical term “myopia” refers to nearsightedness caused by the lengthening of the eyeballs. A common refractive error seen in children and teens, it requires vision correction, most commonly through eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Myopia can worsen later in life, increasing the risk for cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment and even blindness. Fortunately, myopia control, which involves treatments that help slow down the condition’s progression, can significantly help. Vision Care Plus, home of your local eye care doctors, explains more below.
Atropine Eye Drops
These are often used to reduce the pain associated with eye inflammation. When applied, the drops dilate the pupils, soothing focusing fatigue and temporarily limiting the eyes’ ability to change focus. The relief that this medication brings is effective in reducing myopia’s progression in children by up to 77%.
Multifocal Contact Lenses
These lenses are designed to provide clear vision for patients with presbyopia or loss of near focusing ability. A recent study found that the use of multifocal lenses can also help reduce the progression of myopia, especially among children who wear them daily.
These prescription eyeglasses work the same way as multifocal contact lenses. A 2014 study revealed that the worsening of progressive myopia was slowed by 51% amongChinese-Canadian children who wore multifocal glasses.
Also known as ortho-k, this involves the use of gas-permeable contacts specially designed to reshape the cornea, thus reducing the lengthening of the eyeball which is the key factor in the progression of myopia. Worn only at night during sleep, they provide temporary vision correction, eliminating the need to wear corrective eyewear during the day.