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Myopia Control

Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, causes poor distance vision. Myopia happens when either the eyeball is longer than normal or the front surface of the cornea is too curved.  Myopia is increasing globally at an alarming rate, with significant increases in the risk for vision impairment.

Every 1 diopter increase in myopia increases lifetime risk of myopic damage to the retina by 67%

Every 1 diopter reduction in myopia reduces lifetime risk of myopic damage to the retina by 40%

Myopia Risk Factors:

Onset of myopia

  • One or both parents are myopic (3x increase risk with one parent, 6x with both)
  • Ethnicity- Asian highest risk
  • Excessive near work (2-3x increase risk)
  • Limited outdoor time (2-3x increased risk)
  • Refractive error: More myopic than age normal or progressing faster than 0.75D/year

Progression of myopia

  • One or both parents are myopic
  • Ethnicity- Asian highest risk
  • Age 9 or less (the younger a child becomes myopic, the more likely they are to develop higher levels of myopia)
  • Refractive error: more myopic than age normal or progressing faster than 0.75D/year

 

Visual Environmental Advice

  • At least 90 minutes a day outdoors. Be sun smart and be active 60 minutes per day
  • Near work: every 20 minutes take a break for 20 seconds
  • Less than 2 hours screen time after school and don’t sit for too long

 

Treatment options

  • Atropine eye drops

Slows myopia by up to 50%

Instill one drop in each eye once a day before bed

May cause minimal pupil dilation, resulting in possible light sensitivity or trouble focusing

 

  • Multifocal contact lenses

Slows myopia by up to 50%

Safe for children to wear contact lenses

 

  • Orthokeratology

Hard contact lenses that you sleep in at night to reshape the cornea

Slows myopia by up to 50%

May allow freedom from glasses during the day

 

The goal of treatment is not to stop progression entirely, as this is nearly impossible, rather the goal is to slow the progression of your child’s myopia, resulting in lower glasses prescription in the end.

 

Other resources

https://www.mykidsvision.org/en-us

https://www.myopiainstitute.org/imi-white-papers/imi-clinical-summaries.html