Myopia Control

 

 

Cornea before Ortho K

 

 

 

 

Cornea After Ortho K

 

 

 

Myopia or nearsighted is when you are unable to see objects far away. When you are nearsighted it means your eye too long. The elongated eye means objects focus in front of the retina thus making your vision blurry. If your parents are nearsighted your are more likely to be nearsighted. Where you live can impact this as well. If you live in a city environment you are more likely to be myopic than in a rural area. We are seeing the the impact of the technology revolution we are living through with an increased number of children becoming nearsighted.

Being nearsighted does not just mean that you need glasses or contact lenses. Being nearsighted also can mean an increase risk for cataracts, glaucoma and retinal detachments.

For years we have been correcting myopia with glasses or contact lenses. And when the prescription changes we update or change the glasses or contact lens prescriptions. Now there are some ways that we can slow and/or potentially stop the eyes from progressing. Because a nearsighted eye is a longer eye, there is not a way to shorten the eye, so when treating we are not curing myopia but we are stopping in from getting worse.

At Eyes of New Mexico there are several different ways we accomplish this:

  • Ortho Keratology– Contact lenses that are custom designed from a map of the individual’s cornea to be worn at night to flatten the cornea. These contact lenses move corneal tissue to create a multifocal effect that creates the treatment zone for controlling myopia. After wearing the contact lenses all night you will not need glasses or contact lenses during the day.
  • Multifocal soft contact lenses– this works off the same principles as Ortho-K but it is not customized for the individual patient.
  • Pharmaceutical– Very low dose (0.01%) Atropine drops used daily in both eyes. These drops are not yet commercially available so they need to be compounded at a special compounding pharmacy.
  • Allowing children who are not yet nearsighted at least an hour a day to play outside has been shown to prolong when they require their first pair of glasses. Once the child becomes nearsighted the outdoor benefit seems to be diminish.
  • Children who do not wear their glasses or who are under corrected have been shown to have the opposite effect and have been seen to progress at a faster rate. So if you suspect that your child’s prescription has changed get them checked right away rather than waiting for their yearly exam.

To read studies on on myopia control you can visit myopiacontrol.org