Progressive myopia (near-sightedness), typically occurs during the developmental years as a result of the eyeball growing too long. This causes light to focus in front, instead of on the retina leading to blurry vision in the distance. While myopia has predetermined genetic components, modifiable behaviors can significantly impact the rate of progression. Myopia management techniques aim to reduce lifetime myopia progression by about half. Not only can this make the difference of legally needing glasses to drive, but can ultimately affect overall independence from corrective lenses. In addition, having higher levels of myopia increases the risk of visually threatening diseases such as myopic macular degeneration, retinal detachment, cataracts, and glaucoma.
Odds Ratio of Ocular Disease as a Function of Myopia Relative to Emmetropia1
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- Ogawa, A., & Tanaka, M. (1988). The relationship between refractive errors and retinal detachment–analysis of 1,166 retinal detachment cases. Japanese journal of ophthalmology, 32(3), 310-315.
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- Marcus, M. W., de Vries, M. M., Montolio, F. G. J., & Jansonius, N. M. (2011). Myopia as a risk factor for openangle glaucoma: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Ophthalmology, 118(10), 1989-1994.
Listed below are the three methods that have been shown to markedly reduce pathological elongation. It is important to understand that while all three options have been shown to be efficacious, the only FDA-approved forms of myopia treatment are MiSight® 1-day lenses and Abiliti Overnight contacts.
Therapeutic multifocal soft contacts
These soft contacts are unlike soft contacts you would normally prescribe for a child. These lenses have a unique optical design with varying prescriptive powers that discourage myopic progression.
Orthokeratology or Corneal refractive therapy (CRT)
These are a type of hard lens worn overnight during sleep, and removed upon waking. They temporarily reshape the cornea providing functional vision throughout the day. The temporarily reshaped cornea discourages progression.
Low Dose Atropine
Atropine is a drop used for long-term dilation and/or cycloplegia. It is typically prescribed at its full concentration of 1% when treating a lazy eye and other conditions. Diluted atropine (0.02-0.05%) has been shown to have clinically similar results to full-concentration atropine (1%), when used for the purpose of controlling myopia, and rarely has any of the negative side effects. The exact mechanism of myopia control with low dose atropine is currently unknown. Low dose atropine is an excellent method of control if contact lenses are not an option.
At For Your Eyes Only Optometry Center we offer all three forms of myopia control. Call to schedule a visit to be enrolled in our myopia management program.