Are you concerned about increased screen time for your child lately? Does your child’s glasses prescription go up every time you visit your eye doctor?
Increased near work/screen time causes significant increase in myopia (nearsightedness) degree and progression in kids and teens. High progression of nearsightedness increases risk of irreversible eye conditions later in life that cannot be corrected by LASIK or wearing glasses/contact lenses. Some of these complications of high nearsightedness can lead to permanent vision loss (6 fold increase in retinal detachment and myopic macular degeneration). Historically very little has been done to slow down the progression of nearsightedness by eye doctors.
Why do we need to slow down progression of myopia?
Slowing down the rate of myopia (nearsightedness) progression in children is considered medically necessary for several important reasons. Myopia is a refractive error where distant objects appear blurry, and it has become increasingly prevalent worldwide, particularly among younger populations. Here are the key reasons why it is important to address myopia progression in children:
- Visual Impairment: Myopia can significantly impair a child's visual acuity, making it difficult for them to see objects clearly at a distance. This can affect their performance in academic settings, sports, and other daily activities that require good distance vision.
- Increased Risk of Eye Conditions: Progressive myopia is associated with a higher risk of developing various eye conditions in the long term. These include retinal detachment, myopic maculopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts, which can lead to permanent vision loss or impairment if left untreated.
- Quality of Life: Children with myopia may experience reduced quality of life due to the limitations it imposes on their daily activities. Addressing myopia progression can help enhance their overall visual experience and improve their ability to engage in various tasks and hobbies.
- Economic Burden: The increasing prevalence of myopia has significant economic implications, including the costs associated with corrective eyewear, eye examinations, and potential treatment for myopia-related complications. Slowing down myopia progression in children can help alleviate the economic burden associated with managing myopia-related issues in the future.
- Long-Term Vision Preservation: Slowing down the rate of myopia progression in childhood can potentially reduce the severity of myopia in adulthood. High levels of myopia increase the risk of vision-threatening complications later in life. By controlling myopia progression early on, the aim is to lower the risk of severe myopia and associated ocular conditions in the future.
To address myopia progression in children, various interventions may be recommended, such as corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses specifically designed for myopia control, orthokeratology (overnight corneal reshaping lenses), and pharmaceutical treatments (e.g., atropine eye drops). These approaches aim to modify the growth and elongation of the eyeball, thereby slowing down the progression of myopia.
It is important to consult with an eye care professional or an optometrist who specializes in myopia management to determine the most suitable intervention based on the child's specific needs and the severity of their myopia. Early intervention and regular monitoring can play a crucial role in reducing the impact of myopia and preserving long-term visual health for children.
There is good news: there is reliable and strong new evidence in scientific literature in support of special contact lens designs and eye drops that can significantly slow the progression of nearsightedness in children.
Ocean Optical Redmond is pleased to offer this new service for your child. Protect your child’s future vision health by taking action now. Call our office at (425) 556-0202 or make an online appointment for your child’s eye exam and myopia management consultation.
At Ocean Optical our optometrists are trained and certified to offer all 3 forms of myopia management - orthokeratology, atropine drops and multifocal contact lenses.
- Orthokeratology is a form of myopia management where rigid gas permeable contact lenses are used to help re-shape the cornea and in turn, help correct and control refractive error. These contact lenses are worn overnight and removed upon awakening. These hard contact lenses can be worn by children for myopia management and adults who would like to be free of glasses or contact lenses during the day.
- Multifocal contact lenses are designed to give children clear distance vision through the center of the lens. The peripheral part of the lens is designed to focus light slightly in front of the retina, in turn helping slow down eye growth and myopia.
- Atropine eye drops are instilled at nighttime in the affected eye(s). These drops help slow down eye growth and in turn, help in myopia control.
Orthokeratology for Children
Orthokeratology is a form of myopia management in children. Myopia is a condition where the length of the eyeball increases, in turn causing an increase in near-sightedness. This elongation of the eye can lead to many severe ocular conditions like glaucoma, myopic macular degeneration, and retinal detachments. It has been shown that children’s eyes develop up until the ages of 10-12 years old. It is important for us to implement treatment and control the progression of myopia earlier in life so that they are not prone to these ocular diseases later. At our clinic we use Paragon CRT lenses to perform orthokeratology. These contact lenses are FDA approved and custom made based on the patient’s unique ocular measurements. These lenses are worn overnight for an average time of 7-8 hours. During this treatment time, the lenses softly alter the shape of the cornea which help in myopia management. When the patient wakes up in the morning, the lenses are removed. This overnight alteration of the cornea helps the child see clearly during the day without the need for glasses or contact lenses. So, in addition to helping with myopia control for children, orthokeratology also acts as a form of refractive correction.
Schedule a consultation with us to see if Paragon CRT lenses are a good fit for your child!
Orthokeratology for Adults
- Are you near-sighted and have trouble seeing objects at a distance without your glasses or contact lenses? Have you been juggling with the idea of LASIK or refractive correction but not sure if you want to do eye surgery? We have a solution for you!
At our clinic our highly skilled optometrists are certified in fitting Paragon CRT lenses for people of all ages. These customized hard contact lenses are worn overnight (7-8 hours) and then removed upon awakening. Through the night the lenses softly adjust the shape of the cornea, so upon removal most patients can see clearly without the need of glasses or contacts. Doesn’t that sound great? These lenses are popular amongst all patients – from those with active lifestyles to those who work office jobs!
Interested in learning more? Come in for a consultation to see if you’re a good fit!