Evidence in scientific literature suggests eye drops and specific contact lens designs may slow the progression of myopia in children. There are 3 ways we feel will potentially slow the progression of nearsightedness in children: low dose atropine eye drops, soft multifocal contact lenses with center distance design, and orthokeratology.
What is Myopia?
Myopia (also called nearsightedness) occurs when images focus in front of the retina, resulting in blurred vision. Vision is made clearer by putting a spectacle lens or a contact lens at the front of the eye to focus light onto the retina so that the image is clear and in focus.
Causes of Myopia
We are not 100% sure why some children become myopic and others do not. We do know that there is most likely a generic component and if a child has myopic parents, then they are more likely to become myopic. There is also some evidence to suggest that excessive near work could contribute to the onset of myopia. There is also evidence to suggest that spending more time outside in daylight could be a preventative measure to protect against the onset of myopia
What Can I do for my child who is Myopic?
It is important that your child have clear distance vision, which is most easily achieved initially with spectacles or contact lenses. There are several options available that may slow down the progression of myopia such as: enhanced single vision spectacle lenses, progressive and bifocal spectacle lenses, orthokeratollogy (Ortho-K), multiple soft contact lenses, and low-dose atropine eye drops. Our myopia control treatments may slow down the progression rate of myopia by 60%. This would mean that, although your child’s prescription may continue to change, it would hopefully change more slowly than if they were wearing a normal refractive correction, ultimately resulting in a lower prescription. It is well-documented that high prescriptions result in an increase in myopia-related ocular complications, such as retinal tear, retinal detachment, glaucoma, and myopic macular degeneration.
Are these treatment options FDA approved?
At the moment, there are only 2 options that have regulatory approval as a product for myopia control. The other treatment options are being used “off label” or in a nonapproved manner. It should be noted that there are many occasions when medications or treatment modalities are prescribed in an “off label” way by qualified practitioners. For more information regarding our options, please contact us by calling (406) 443-2121 or schedule an appointment so we can better assess your needs!