Myopia Control / Orthokeratology
Myopia or nearsightedness is a problem of the eye growing too long for its optical power. Research has helped us to better understand the factors that cause eye elongation in children—and new clinical technologies allow us to harness these insights to slow myopia progression in developing eyes. Comparing the myopia results of the 1971-1972 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to the same study three decades later (1999-2004), findings indicate that the prevalence of myopia in Americans between 12 and 54 years of age increased from 25.0% to 41.6% (P < 0.001) . This growth of myopia in the US is just part of a worldwide trend toward increasing myopia prevalence.
Why is myopia control important?
First, there are enormous social and personal costs to myopia. In addition, myopia, especially high myopia, is associated with increased risk of retinal detachments, myopic degeneration, glaucoma, and other serious morbidities.
Once thought of as solely a product of genes, it is now clear that environmental factors also contribute to myopia progression. Research suggests that defocus in the mid-peripheral retina may be one stimulus that triggers myopia progression. In experimental models, when the light incident on the mid-peripheral retina was in focus, the eyes did not elongate.
Why should I choose Alta Eye Care?
Both Dr. Chen and Dr. Lee are board certified M.D.'s, each with more than a decade of experience in this area. Our myopia control program not only offers the latest in myopia control therapy, but with the use of our specialty equipment and technology, we can precisely measure your child's eye axial length and corneal curvature before treatment, and track changes thereafter. These results are used to determine an optimum management strategy, which may include prescribing medication eyedrops or the fitting of specialty contact lenses and glasses shown in recent research to be effective in controlling myopia progression.
Can You Really Slow or Stop Myopia (Nearsightedness)?
Yes! Most people can slow down or sometimes even stop their eyes from becoming more myopic (nearsighted or shortsighted). While there is no cure, you can most likely improve how your eyes are changing.
What can I do right now?
Spend more time outdoors. We don't know why exactly - it may be the sun, it may be focusing on distant objects or some other factor. The fact we have for now is that outdoor time helps more than a little. Children should strive to be outdoors at least two hours a day. Children who were outdoors at least this long did not progress in their myopia as quickly. Participation in sports or other strenuous activities is not necessarily protective since indoor sports such as basketball do not give the same protection.
Your child needs an eye exam every year starting at age five. The goal is to start treatment as early as possible, since we still do not have any treatment available to reverse myopia.
If you are interested in doing more and want a consultation for myopia control for your child, please call and schedule an appointment to see if and how myopia control may benefit your child.