What is myopia?
Myopia, or nearsightedness, is the inability to see clearly in the distance without wearing glasses or contact lenses.
The eye has many small parts and anatomical components that develop and grow just like the rest your child’s body does, in height and strength. In optically “perfect” eyes, the parts all grow together in unison, and no glasses are needed. In myopia, the eye parts don’t line up or communicate. The eye can get confused and grow too long and too fast in axial length (the distance from the front to the back of the eye) requiring glasses or contact lenses to have clear vision.
However, that is not the case for many, many children – for a few reasons. Partially, it is due to genetics, if mom and/or dad are myopic, the child is more likely be myopic too. More interestingly, myopia is increasing because of changes to visual environments – these days, there is more technology and screen time, reading, and less time outside. Like the saying goes, you can’t “pick your family” but thankfully we can pick and prescribe treatments that can modify visual signals to reduce the progression of myopia.
Yes, increasing myopia and axial length can end up with thick lenses in glasses, or high numbered prescriptions. However, an important concern is that myopia is linked to ocular diseases, like retinal detachment, glaucoma, myopic maculopathy, because the eye structures are thinner and weaker. We can’t fix these diseases with glasses, and they can cause irreversible blindness.
We have three options at our clinic including ortho-keratology, multifocal soft contact lenses, and atropine eye drops that are efficacious in slowing the progression of myopia. We are certified prescribers of MiSight® which is the only FDA approved soft contact lens for myopia management.
Book an eye exam and myopia consultation for your child so we can get to know your child’s visual needs, risks and options so that we can protect their vision.