Myopia, also known as nearsightedness or shortsightedness, is the eye condition in which objects nearby or a short distance away are clear but objects that are far away are blurred. Caused by the gradual elongation of the eyeball, myopia affects more than a billion people around the world, including 42% of people aged 12-54 in the United States. Myopia is an issue that can hinder your child’s learning and set them back from an early age. Higher levels of myopia can also lead to increased risks of serious, sight-threatening eye diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and retinal detachments.
Myopia Control describes methods used to slow the progression of myopia. At The Myopia Institute, we provide references on the methods backed by scientific research as well as a directory of doctors who specialize in myopia control and are trained to administer these treatments to children at an early age in order to proactively slow down or stop progression of myopia. Myopia Control researchers attempt to discover proactive means of treatment, including yearly eye exams starting at as young as five years old. The earlier the problem is identified and treatment initiated the better the long term results are likely to be.
Types of Myopia Control
There are three widely accepted types of myopia control treatments: Orthokeratology (OrthoK aka CRT), Distance-Center Multifocal Contact Lenses and Low-Dose Atropine Eye Drops. We use methods based on patient age, prescription and need, sometimes combining methods for maximum impact.
Orthokeratology, also known as OrthoK or CRT is a method where medical devices similar to contact lenses are applied to the eye while asleep. The gentle pressure exerted on the cornea, or surface of the eye overnight results in the temporary “molding” of the outer layers, providing “lens like” effects for the user. The effects last all day, providing vision for users without wearing glasses or contact lenses during their waking hours. The effects are dramatic and free people from issues with glasses or regular contact lenses for sports, swimming and performing the activities they love to perform. Orthokeratology has many peer-reviewed, randomized and some longitudinal studies that show it is an effective method to reduce the progression of myopia and, in many cases, halt it altogether.
Distance Center Multifocal Soft Contact Lenses
Distance Center Multifocal Soft Contact Lenses are worn precisely the same as regular soft contact lenses. An optical “trick” in the center of the lens has been shown in several studies to slow down the progression of myopia. This method is rapidly gaining in popularity. Currently there are three brands of these lenses. We can help determine which will be best for you.
Low-Dose Atropine Eye Drops has been found in several studies to reduce the progression of myopia. Applied once a day, atropine treatment is continued as long as myopia progression continues. It is not a cure, but it has shown to control myopia in many patients and in some cases may be used in conjunction with either OrthoK Contacts or Multifocal Soft Contacts to enhance the myopia control effect. Pirenzepine is an analog of Atropine that has been shown effective but is not currently on the market. Dopamine has also been studied but use has been impractical.
Please use the form below to contact us directly about Ortho-K vision improvement or call us directly at: 205.861.2020