Myopia is the medical term for nearsightedness. It is a condition which causes difficulty focusing on objects at a distance, while near vision remains normal. Myopia is one of the most common vision problems worldwide and it is becoming epidemic.
Myopia is a refractive error caused by an irregular shaped eye that affects the way light is focused on the retina. For clear vision, light needs to come to a point of focus on the retina. In myopic eyes, the eye is longer than usual, resulting in a point of focus before reaching the retina. This causes objects at distance to appear blurry, while close objects can be seen normally.
Myopia often has a genetic component and may appear in multiple members of a family. Myopia typically presents in childhood and gets progressively worse during school years. Generally, people stop progressing in their mid 20’s. Other factors that contribute to myopia are focusing on close objects for long periods of time and spending too much time indoors.
Treatment for Myopia
Myopia is typically treated with corrective eyeglasses and/or contact lenses. For some patients there are surgical options.
The higher the myopia, the higher the risk of developing eye diseases such as retinal tears/detachments, glaucoma, cataract and myopic maculopathy.
Many studies have found factors which contribute to myopia progression that can be modified to slow down myopia progression particularly during childhood when myopia increases the most. By decreasing the amount of myopia, we can decrease the risk of some eye diseases.
There are four widely accepted types of myopia control treatments: Orthokeratology (also known as OrthoK or CRT), Atropine eye drops, Specially designed Multifocal Soft Contact Lenses, and in some cases Bifocal or Multifocal eyeglasses. These are the only methods with randomized, controlled peer-reviewed studies proven to slow down or prevent progression of myopia. Other methods such as under correcting the refractive error may INCREASE myopia. Methods such as wearing rigid gas permeable lenses during the day, nutrition alone, vision therapy alone, or amount of lighting while sleeping have been proven ineffective or only marginally effective in minimizing myopic creep. The best method for an individual patient is determined based on the patient – and sometimes the best treatment is a combination of treatments to achieve the maximum benefit.
Call the office today at (410) 744-1111 or use the link to schedule an exam and learn more about myopia control.