Myopia (nearsigthedness) has reached epidemic proportionS. aside from causing blurred vision, Myopia can lead to serious vision problems later in life. Learn more about myopia and how Dr. Copeland can manage this condition below.
What is myopia?
Myopia, more commonly known as nearsightedness, occurs when the eye focuses light in front of the retina instead of directly on the retina. Light needs to be focused on the retina for the information about what your seeing to be transmitted to the brain. Glasses or contact lenses are worn to move the light focus back to the retina. This allows the wearer to see clearly.
What Causes Myopia?
Researchers have not found one single cause for myopia. They believe both genetics and environment affect whether or not a person becomes nearsighted. Children with 1 myopic parent are 1.5X more likely to become myopic verses children with no myopic parents and 3X more likely with 2 myopic parents. Studies show that children who spend less then 10 hours per week outdoors are more likely to develop nearsightedness. As well as though who spend more time doing near work.
Why be concerned about myopia?
Aside from causing blurry vision, myopia causes an increased risk of developing vision threatening problems later in life. A nearsighted person is more likely to develop cataracts, glaucoma, and retina detachment.
How can myopia be prevented?
As discussed above, there is no full proof way to prevent your child from being nearsighted. Spending more time outdoors and reducing near work can help reduce your child’s risk. However, once your child is diagnosed with myopia, there are away that Dr. Copeland can manage the condition.
Below is a brief discussion of three ways Dr. Copeland can manage myopia. Further web resources are also listed. Please be sure to ask Dr. Copeland any questions you might have about these options.
Ortho-K also known as Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) uses custom-designed gas permeable lenses to reshape the cornea (front of the eye). The patient wears the lenses at night and the cornea is reshaped during sleep. When the patient wakes up she removes the lenses. The reshaping reduces the amount of prescription; the patient does not need to wear glasses or contact lens for all or most of the day. Aside from allowing the patient to be correction free, the reshaping also slows the progression of the myopia.
Soft Multifocal Contact Lenses
This method uses standard soft multifocal contact lenses to slow the progression of the myopia. The patient wears these lenses during the day and removes them at night.
Low dose atropine
This method uses 1 drop of the drug atropine instilled at night in both eyes to slow the progression of myopia. The patient still needs to wear glasses or contacts during the day to correct the starting level of myopia.