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Myopia Management

What is Myopia?  Myopia is often referred to as “nearsightedness” or “shortsightedness”. Myopia occurs when light is not bent or focused correctly by the eye.

As a result, objects and details are blurry when one looks at a distance. Focusing at near objects remains clear.

Myopia Education Video from CooperCompanies on Vimeo.

Causes

On average, Myopia is first detected in children between the ages of 6 to 12 years old and evidence suggests that there is a genetic, or hereditary, component to the condition. According to studies, there is a 33% chance that a child will develop myopia if one of their parents is myopic. The statistic increases to a 50% chance if both parents are myopic.
Studies indicate that environmental conditions can enhance or accelerate nearsightedness. Many have attributed excessive screen time on digital devices as contributors to a child’s condition. Per a recent study, sunlight and being active outdoors were found to be ways of reducing or slowing the onset.

Symptoms

Some of the signs and symptoms of Myopia are:

  • Eyestrain or headaches with distance vision activities
  • Squinting to see properly, excessive blinking or needing to sit in the front row during class
  • A decline in educational performance
  • Complaints that your child cannot see the whiteboard

Myopia Vision Simulator | CooperVision US

Research shows, especially now as digital technology has become beneficial to educating the next generation of future leaders, that modern lifestyles may influence the development of myopia.

Risk factors for myopia onset and progression include:

  • AGE OF ONSET: 9 or younger
  • FAMILY HISTORY: parents, grandparents, or siblings
  • RATE OF PROGRESSION: -1.00 Diopter or more per year
  • NEAR WORK: 2 hours or more per day
  • TIME SPENT OUTDOORS: 2 hours or less per day
  • ETHNICITY: Asian heritage

Long-term Health Risks of Myopia 

Myopia progression in childhood, results in significant increased risk in adulthood for retinal detachment, glaucoma, cataracts, and myopic maculopathy (an irreversible loss of central vision). Every 1 Diopter (unit) reduction in myopia reduces the risk of myopic maculopathy by 40%. 

What Can Be Done?

Prescription eye drops or specially designed contact lenses are the most common methods for addressing symptoms of Myopia. Both methods work by refocusing light rays on the retina, to compensate for the shape of your eye. Dr. Blackburn will advise you on the best treatment option for your child’s visual health.

Atropine Eye Drops

Atropine Eye Drops are specially formulated, ultra-low dose eye drops that must be compounded through a specialty pharmacy. The drops are instilled into the eyes each night at bedtime. 

How do they work? The specific mechanism of atropine in myopia management is still being studied. It is currently believed that atropine inhibits sclera thinning or stretching. Hence, slowing eye growth by acting directly or indirectly on the retina (the thin, inner vision layer of the eye) or the sclera (the tough, white outer protective, layer of the eye). 

Dual Focus Soft Contact Lenses

Dual Focus soft lenses have alternating prescription zones of the lens for focusing light. Most of the zones correct the nearsightedness, by focusing light directly on the retina so that distance vision is clear. The remaining zones of the lens bring peripheral light rays into focus, in front of the retina, by adding focusing power. Medical studies have shown that focusing light in front of the retina, cues the eye to slow development. MiSight® 1 day is the only FDA-approved soft contact lens developed to slow the elongation of the eyes. 

MiSight 1 day lenses simultaneously correct your child’s vision today, while training their eyes to resist growing longer.  These lenses are to be worn 10 hours daily for at least 6 days/week for best treatment.

Learn more about MiSight® 1 day is a soft contacts HERE.

For more scientifically based, independent advice on childhood myopia and its management, click on the links below:

www.mykidsvision.org

Myopia – Myopia Institute

Two-Year Clinical Trial of the Low-Concentration Atropine for Myopia Progression (LAMP) Study: Phase 2 Report – PubMed (nih.gov) Study on the effectiveness of Low Dose Atropine drops

Atropine 0.01% Eye Drops for Myopia Control in American Children: A Multiethnic Sample Across Three US Sites (nih.gov) Study on the effectiveness of Low Dose Atropine drops

MiSight Assessment Study Spain (MASS). A 2-year randomized clinical trial – PubMed (nih.gov)

Study on effectiveness of MiSight Dual Focus Contact Lens

Decreasing Peripheral Hyperopia With Distance-centre Relatively-plus Powered Periphery Contact Lenses Reduced The Rate Of Progress Of Myopia: A 5 Year Vision Crc Study | IOVS | ARVO Journals

Study on the effectiveness of Dual Focus Contact Lens

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/opo.12455       Study on Parents’ attitudes to myopia

https://www.nature.com/news/the-myopia-boom-1.17120          Evidence on the Worldwide Myopia Boom

https://www.who.int/blindness/causes/MyopiaReportforWeb.pdf        Summary of Myopia and its impact

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6688422/?report=classic   Study of Ocular Disease Risk of Myopia