Myopia, or nearsightedness, affects nearly 30% of all Canadians and it’s likely to worsen. By 2050, it’s estimated almost 50% of the world will have myopia. In myopic eyes, far-away objects are difficult to see while nearby objects are seen clearly. Advanced versions of myopia can cause an increased risk of several health issues. This eye condition is quickly becoming a worldwide issue, with progression occurring during childhood.
People suffering from myopia have differently shaped eyes where the eyeball is typically too long or the cornea has a steep curvature. Because of this, when light enters the eye, it does not focus on the retina as it should. Instead, light focuses at a point in front of the retina. There can be other factors contributing to myopia as well, such as:
Recognizing common myopia symptoms can potentially help identify developing myopia. Children typically do not notice visual issues if they are used to their poor vision.
While anyone can be affected by myopia, it usually develops early in childhood and begins to worsen with age. As children grow, so do their eyes, and this growth can cause a mild case of myopia to potentially develop into a more severe form of this condition called high myopia. Single vision eyeglasses alone cannot slow down myopia progression.
Myopia is considered severe (or “high”) when a person’s vision is above -6.00 diopters. Eye development stabilizes around early adulthood and people suffering from high myopia are at an increased risk of several eye conditions:
Myopia progression can be slown or reduced for your child if efforts are made. This control aims to slow or potentially stop eyeball growth so a child’s vision does not worsen.
Orthokeratology, also known as Ortho-K, is a type of corneal reshaping lens. They are rigid, gas-permeable lenses used to both correct vision and control myopia progression. These lenses flatten the centre of the cornea, changing how light is bent as it enters the eye. Ortho-K is used overnight and the lenses can be removed in the morning, allowing corrected vision throughout the day. Studies have found Ortho-K to be a safe and effective treatment for children suffering from myopia progression.
MiSight contact lenses are daily-disposable lenses designed to correct and control myopia progression. They are meant to be applied in the morning and discarded at the end of the day, and feature a correction of the refractive error associated with myopia. They also have concentric peripheral rings in the lens to assist with myopia control. A three-year study on MiSight contact lenses found them to be an effective form of slowing myopia progression in a child’s eyes.
Atropine eye drops are used to relax the eyes’ focusing mechanisms. The pupil is dilated and the focusing muscles of the eye are temporarily affected to relax the focusing efforts. There are various types of low-dose atropine eye drops, but the suggested dosage is usually 0.05% to 0.01% to minimize the risk of potential side effects while effectively controlling myopia progression.
MiyoSmart is a type of lens utilizing defocus incorporated multiple segments (DIMS) technology to correct myopia and slow down progression in children. The lens features a central zone for correction of myopia while several ring-shaped zones surround the lens to slow down myopia progression. The alternating focus and defocus area provides clear vision while simultaneously managing progression. A three-year study found DIMS lenses to effectively slow myopia progression.
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