Myopia Control at Whitby and Brooklin Vision Care
Keeping a clear eye on your world
Myopia, also known as nearsightedness is a common visual condition where you can see objects near to you clearly but far away is blurry. It is a progressive condition that causes light rays to refract (bend) in front of the retina (image screen) rather than directly on it. Myopia is a result of the eyeball being too long or the corneal shape being too steep to allow the light rays to focus on the retina.
Genetics can play a strong role in myopia, but it can also develop spontaneously. It will often develop in the childhood years but will generally slow down as you get older. Treatment methods are now available that can help slow down the progression earlier on to prevent further complications as the child gets older. Call our office to discuss options.
Diagnosis and Treatment for Myopia
Your eye doctor can diagnose myopia through a comprehensive eye exam, often using a standard letter or symbol Snellen acuity chart from a distance. Our doctors will use certain examination tools to learn what is causing myopia. A retinoscope shines a special light into your eyes the reflects off your retina. This can show whether a person is nearsighted, farsighted and/or has astigmatism. A phoropter (this is where the famous “better 1 or 2” comes into play) measures the refractive error you have. It helps determine the proper prescription to correct your vision.
Eyeglasses or contact lenses are the most common ways to correct for myopia to give you the clearest vision. They work by refocusing light rays on the retina, compensating for the shape of your eye.
The challenge with myopia is that as the eye continues to grow, the retinal tissue has to stretch. Worsening myopia can lead to eye health and vision issues later in life. We know that myopia in young children gets worse as they get older because their eyes continue to grow. Kids learn and grow a lot through their ability to see clearly. We know how they see can make a big difference in their growth and development.
Exciting news however is that certain methods can now help slow the progression of myopia; reducing how often your prescription needs to be changed, and help minimize long-term effects and complications of myopia into adulthood.
Myopia Control Methods
1) Misight Contact Lenses by Coopervision
Coopervision one-day soft contact lenses are a great option for young kids in slowing myopia progression. It is different from a typical single vision (same power throughout) lens. It actually has a variety of power throughout the lens. This varying lens power allows the eyes to focus correctly, and at the same time slows eyeball growth, thus reducing myopia progression.
2) ZEISS myopia management spectacle lenses
Zeiss has developed the next generation of myopia management spectacle lenses. The Zeiss MyoVision Pro lenses manages myopia progression in a single vision design, where the periphery of the lens is responsible for myopia control and the central zone provides sharp vision, correcting myopia. The Zeiss MyoKids lens is a little different and manages myopia progression in a multi-focal design and also provides near vision support. Talk to our optometrist to see what are the best options for your child.
3) Low does Atropine drops
Medically prescribed eye drops which contain a low dose of atropine (which is a dilating agent to create a peripheral defocus) has been used to slow the progression of childhood myopia and axial elongation. Studies have shown that the low dose prescribed atropine can slow the progression of myopia by 50% over two years. (ATOM study)
4) Orthokeratology (Ortho-K)
Orthokeratology, also known as Ortho-k may be effective in slowing myopia progression in children. It is a form on corneal reshaping therapy for vision correction. It involves wearing a rigid gas permeable contact lens overnight to flatten the cornea, to enable clearer vision during the day. Vision correction with Ortho-K is temporary, based on wearing the contacts every night.
Behavior tips for myopia management
1) Outdoor activities
Studies show that children who are active outdoors have a lower risk and lower progression of myopia. A minimum of 1.5 hours spent outside daily is recommended.
2) Remember UV protection
Don’t forget to protect your child’s eyes from UV light during outdoor activities.
3) Deep digital devices at a distance
Proper distance from digital devices and upright body posture are good for the back and children’s eyes. Hold your device at least 30 cm away.
4) Ensure your child takes breaks
Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes of screen time up close, rest your eyes for 20 seconds and focus on something 20 feet away.
5). Provide healthy food
Nutrients influence the proper development of the visual system.
6). Sufficient sleep
Sleep is important for the restoration of body and neural energy. Too little sleep can lead to excessive fatigue and stress.
7). Turn on the light
Good lighting is essential for all activities, from reading and learning to playing. Natural lighting is especially recommended. Always make sure that your child has enough light and avoid reading in the dark.
8) Regular Eye exams
Annual eye exams are recommended for all children to better manage and diagnose any myopia progression or other deteriorating conditions.