Myopia Control

Kid with Myopia Control

What is Myopia?

Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is when one can see well up close but distant objects are blurry. This happens when the eye is too long and the image is focused in front of the retina instead of directly on the retina.

What causes myopia?

There are a number of factors that contribute to myopia. The main factors are:

What are the risks of myopia?

People with myopia do not see distant objects well without correction. High levels of myopia mean thicker and more expensive glasses, poorer uncorrected vision, and fewer surgical vision correction options (i.e. laser correction).

Unfortunately, myopia increases the risk of vision loss by significantly increasing the risk for Myopic Maculopathy (aka Myopic Macular Degeneration), Retinal Detachment, Cataracts, and Glaucoma.

The table below outlines the difference in risk between plano (no prescription) and different levels of myopia:

Eye Disease -2.00 D -4.00 D -6.00 D -8.00 D
Myopic Maculopathy 2.2x higher 9.7x higher 40.6x higher 128.8x higher
Retinal Detachment 3.1x higher 9.0x higher 21.5x higher 44.2x higher
Cataract 1.6 higher 3.2 higher 5.4 higher 12.3 higher
Glaucoma 1.7x higher 2.5x higher 2.5x higher N/A

What is Myopia Control?

Myopia control is treatment aimed at reducing the speed at which myopia progresses and decreasing the total amount of myopia one will develop. In other words, the goal is to slow down how quickly someone becomes nearsighted so that the prescription they have as an adult is lower than it may have been without myopia control.

What are the Myopia Control treatment options?

There are multiple different treatment options available for myopia control. Your optometrist can help you determine which method is most suitable for your child based on their risk factors, rate of change, age, eye length (axial length), and eye health.

Eye Lense

The following myopia control options may be discussed:

Research on myopia control and best treatment options is constantly evolving. At Emerald Park Eye Care, we are dedicated to staying current with the research and offering the most appropriate solution for your child.

Does Myopia Control work?

Yes! Myopia control with either specialty spectacle or contact lenses or atropine has been shown in studies to reduce myopia progression by up to 60%. Myopia control is not expected to completely stop the eyes from growing or the prescription from changing, but it can slow it down significantly.

What is axial length?

Axial length is the term used for the length of the eyeball from front to back. The human eye grows throughout childhood. Ideally, the axial length of the eye will be approximately 24mm in adulthood. If the eye grows longer than this, myopia results. The longer the axial length, the greater the risk of eye health conditions later in life.

Axial length is perhaps the most important measurement in determining one’s risk of eye health concerns, and as such is an integral part of myopia management. By tracking axial length, we can best determine if we should consider using myopia control methods, how effective our current myopia management is, and whether we need to change the treatment plan.

At Emerald Park Eye Care, we measure axial length, as well as corneal topography (the shape of the front surface of the eye), using an instrument called the MYAH. The MYAH will be repeated at each visit to allow us to monitor changes in axial length over time. The MYAH measures the axial length quickly and is completely non-invasive.

Myopia is a health concern. Ask us how we can help reduce your child’s risk of developing vision loss from myopia. Call now to learn more.

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