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Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a common eye condition that causes blurry vision in the distance. The reason objects are blurry is because the eye is stretching as your child grows. With normal growth, the eyes lengthen marginally and no prescription is needed. However, there are instances when the eyes lengthen faster and longer than normal growth rates, and this causes blurry vision. We can correct this blurry vision with a pair of glasses or contact lenses, but most of these do not slow down the abnormal lengthening of your child’s eyes. More than just vision correction, myopia management can slow down myopia progression and decrease future risks of eye problems.
Your child is not alone in this! The prevalence of myopia has doubled in the past 20 years, and it is predicted that more than 50% of the world’s population will become nearsighted by 2050. Post-pandemic, we have seen a surge in myopia progression in young children. In the United States alone, more than 40% of people are nearsighted, and that number is increasing among school-age children.
Myopia is caused by two factors: genetics and lifestyle. If one or both parents are nearsighted, the risk that a child will also be increases to 33% and 50%, respectively. If neither parent is myopic, there is still a 1 in 4 risk of the child developing myopia. Studies have shown that decreased time spent outdoors, prolonged time on digital devices, and insufficient lighting levels also increase the chance of myopia onset and progression.
Myopia is a common diagnosis in childhood. However, myopia can progress and worsen over time because of abnormal eye stretching. This uncontrolled growth can potentially lead to severe sight-threatening conditions later in life, such as retinal detachment, glaucoma, early-onset cataracts and myopic maculopathy, all of which has have detrimental effects on your child’s vision.
Studies have shown that myopia affects a child’s development, psychological well-being, self-esteem, confidence, athletic ability, academic ability, social interactions, and daily functioning. Anxiety tends to be higher with higher levels of myopia, and individuals’ perception of themselves tends to be lower compared to others with respect to appearance, performance, and social life.
It is important to start myopia management early during childhood to slow down myopia progression. By keeping the prescription stable, we can slow the rate of your child’s eye stretching, therefore keeping your child’s future bright.
While there is nothing wrong with traditional glasses and contacts lenses, a myopia management program gives you the power to control how much prescription your child will ultimately have, while decreasing the risk of sight-threatening conditions and keeping their futures wide-open.
Taking back control of the disease of myopia
Yardley Vision Care offers different Myopia Management Packages to help slow down your child’s myopia progression. At the Myopia Consult, the doctor will work with you and your child to determine which program is the most effective option based on his/her prescription and lifestyle. Please be aware that your myopia management option may involve off-label use.
MiSight® Contact Lenses
MiSight® 1 Day contact lenses are daily disposable soft lenses your child wears during the day. These treatment lenses are FDA-approved to slow myopia progression during the growing years using ActivControl™ Technology, while simultaneously correcting your child’s vision. Learn more about MiSight lenses here.
CRT lenses (also known as orthokeratology) are unique rigid gas permeable contact lenses designed to correct myopia by safely reshaping your child’s cornea while he/she sleeps. The lenses are removed in the morning, and your child may then be able to go throughout the day without the need for any correction. Please click here to learn more about CRT Lenses.
Atropine sulfate eye drops are low-concentration dilation drops that are instilled into your child’s eyes once every evening. When used in conjunction with glasses or contacts, these eye drops reduce myopia progression.
Environmental factors have caused a surge in myopia onset and progression across the globe. Work with your child to apply these changes to their life to help slow down myopia progression: