Children inherit myopia from their parents. Its most often diagnosed between the ages of 8 and 12 years. However, early childhood myopia is now seen between the ages of 5 and 7 years. When the body rapidly grows during the teenage years, myopia may get worse.
It’s important to understand that there is no cure for myopia. However, there are more treatments now available to slow this progression. Two of the most exciting are the new MiSight contact lenses and low-dose atropine eye drops. MiSight 1 day contact lenses are the first and only FDA-approved lens to treat children’s myopia. The earlier treatment starts, the less nearsighted they become.
In addition to the new contact lenses, studies have demonstrated that atropine eye drops given at bedtime significantly slows the progression of nearsightedness. Young children who can’t insert contact lenses can use this therapy. MiSight & Atropine can also be combined to slow the rate of myopia progression. Thus, early diagnosis and consistent adherence to the treatment plan must continue throughout the eye-growth years.
The Eyecare Center of Leesburg is working with families to help slow the progression of myopia. We develop a personalized treatment plan using the newly approved FDA MiSight contact lenses and the therapy of Atropine drops. Other treatment plans involve soft and gas permeable specialty contact lenses. Often these materials are used in conjunction with the Atropine drops. Myopia Control Treatment is not covered by medical or vision insurance; however, it can be reimbursed under Flex/HSA benefits.
1st FDA Treatment for Myopia – MySight One Day Contact Lenses
Nearsightedness explained and managed!
Myopia is most often called nearsightedness. This means that you can see close-up but not far away.
These photos show the possible progression of Myopia.
Myopia is seen in individuals whose eyes are longer than normal. This impacts the focusing power of the cornea and lens. This makes the focus at a point further in front of the retina instead of right on its surface. Nearsightedness can also be caused by the cornea and/or lens being too curved for the length of the eyeball. In some cases, myopia occurs due to a combination of these factors. Myopia occurs when the eye does not bend or refract light in the correct way. Since the light doesn’t focus as it should, images appear blurry. This isn’t a disease. It is a disorder or problem with the eye’s ability to focus.
Many countries, including the United States, are noting unprecedented rates of myopia diagnosis among children. The greatest increase is occurring in Asian countries. Today, 25% to 42% more American children have myopia compared to 30 years ago. Researchers have identified a genetic link in families for myopia. Yet, the recent dramatic increase isn’t fully known. Some question if children’s play activities may contribute to developing myopia. Studies have looked at sun exposure and the incidence of myopia. Children exposed to less daylight developed myopia at a higher rate. Some believe that increased screen time is the culprit.
It’s important to understand that there is no cure for myopia. However, there a more treatments now available slow this progression. The most exciting is low-dose atropine eye drops. Studies have demonstrated that atropine eye drops given at bedtime significantly slows the progression of nearsightedness. This helps prevent the development of severe myopia. Children treated with atropine eye drops will still need glasses. About 90% of children treated with atropine drops experience a decrease in the progression of their myopia by 50%. The earlier treatment starts, the less nearsighted they become. Studies have also shown that stopping the atropine treatment can lead to faster progression of myopia. Thus, early diagnosis and consistent adherence to the treatment plan must continue throughout the eye-growth years.