In our previous post we discussed myopia, the term for having a nearsighted prescription. Not only does myopia make distance vision blurry, it also increases the risk of developing certain ocular conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachments. Today, we’re going to talk about how to manage childhood myopia to limit its progression.
There are a few therapy options available for managing myopia, and our doctors will work closely with you to help decide which one is right for your child. Regardless of the therapy plan, please note that the goal of myopia management is NOT to eliminate the nearsighted prescription but to slow it down so that by adulthood, the prescription is as low as possible, which will reduce the patient’s risk of developing serious ocular diseases.
- What it is: FDA-approved, soft, daily disposable contact lenses that have been proven to slow down the development of myopia in children ages 8-12.
- Pros: Comfortable to wear, vision effects are immediate, low in cost, healthy daily disposable modality, not as expensive as ortho-K lenses
- Cons: Must be worn daily, requires back up glasses, at risk for developing contact lens related issues (such as infections, corneal ulcers, dryness or scratching the eye)
- What it is: Atropine is a specialty eye drop that is made by compounding pharmacies and is used once daily as an off-label myopia management therapy.
- Pros: Parental control, no need for contact lens wear (good for younger patients), less risk of infection compared to contact lenses
- Cons: Off-label use, requires back up glasses, may cause glare, light sensitivity and blurred near vision
- What it is: A contact lens made of hard material that functions to temporarily reshape the front of the surface of the eye which reduces or eliminates the need for daytime glasses or contact lens wear.
- Pros: Parental control, no need for daytime lens wear, safer than soft lenses since they are only handled at home, ideal for active children
- Cons: Must be worn every night to be effective, not as comfortable as soft lenses, still at risk for developing contact lens related issues, more expensive to replace than soft lenses
- What it is: Daily NaturalVue lenses and monthly Biofinity Multifocal lenses both have an optic design that causes peripheral blur on the retina which is thought to reduce the progression of nearsighted power.
- Pros: Comfortable material, not as expensive as ortho-K lenses
- Cons: May affect distance vision, requires back up glasses, must be worn daily, at risk for developing contact lens related issues (such as infections, corneal ulcers, dryness or scratching the eye)
If your child has a nearsighted prescription, it is essential to take action now to help slow its progression. Otherwise, they will become more nearsighted as they age, increasing their risk of developing serious, sight-threatening diseases! If you are interested in learning more about our Myopia Management Therapy program and pricing, please contact us today to schedule an appointment!