Myopia (nearsightedness) is a common vision problem that occurs when distant images appear blurry. Myopia occurs when the light entering the eye is focused in front of the retina, rather than directly on the retina.
Myopia develops when the eye grows too long from front to back (axial length), and generally worsens until the eye is fully developed— usually around age 20.
While distance-only glasses and contact lenses are the traditional methods of vision correction for myopia, these lenses focus light in a way that may actually increase the axial length of the eye— ultimately causing myopia to worsen.
Worsening myopia, or myopia progression, occurs when a child’s optical prescription rapidly increases. Myopia progression has been shown to increase the risk of serious eye diseases in the future, including:
As a result, controlling myopia progression has become a priority among many optometrists.
What is myopia management?
Recent studies suggest that myopia progression can be effectively controlled during childhood through a program called Myopia Management.
Myopia management is a treatment program that involves multifocal glasses or contact lenses, overnight ortho-k lenses, MiSight lenses, or specialized eye drops— all scientifically proven to reduce the rate of myopia progression and the risk of future eye diseases associated with myopia.
According to studies, myopia management has shown to reduce myopia progression by up to 78 percent.
Can your child benefit from myopia management?
All children with worsening myopia can benefit from myopia management.
The ideal time to begin a myopia management program is when your child is young, typically between 8 to 12 years of age.
Even if your child presents with low levels of myopia, controlling myopia progression before it worsens can help to increase the results of the program.
While myopia can still be controlled throughout the teenage years, the earlier a child begins a myopia management program, the greater their chances for reducing the risk of sight-threatening eye diseases in the future.
Myopia management will not only help to reduce the risk of future eye diseases, but can also be beneficial for a number of other reasons, including:
- Preserving long-term eye health
- Stabilizing vision
- Possibly eliminating the need for daytime eyewear
- Increasing the chances of successful laser refractive surgery in the future
If your child complains of blurry vision or has already been diagnosed with myopia, schedule an eye exam with an optometrist experienced in myopia management.
Myopia management can help your child see more clearly, while reducing their risk of worsening myopia and serious vision problems in the future.
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