Myopia refers to nearsightedness. Progressive myopia is nearsightedness that gets worse over time. The eye doctor team at InVision Eye Care Specialists explains the condition and treatment options.
Category: Eye Exam
Myopia affects about 50 percent of the population. It usually starts in childhood. While it is not possible to reverse progressive myopia, there are ways to slow it down. The expert eye doctors at Lakewood, New Jersey’s InVision Eye Care Specialists, serving Ocean County, Monmouth County, and the surrounding areas, discuss various methods of minimizing progression.
Myopia occurs when the eye exceeds normal length from front to back. The cornea curves excessively. The result is that far away objects appear blurry. With aging, the lengthening of the eye increases, causing progressive myopia.
Progressive Myopia in Children
The incidence of progressive myopia in children is increasing. Kids who spend more time on their computer screens and other devices are at higher risk than those who play outside more frequently.
While any child may develop myopia, heredity plays a role. Children of myopic parents are more likely to become myopic than those whose parents are not nearsighted. Still, measures such as limiting screen time and getting kids out in fresh air aid their vision and general health.
Progressive Myopia Complications
Blurred vision is not the issue when it comes to progressive myopia. If left untreated, people with progressive myopia have higher odds of developing other eye diseases, including:
Treating Progressive Myopia
When caught early, children with myopia may respond to the application of low-dose atropine eye drops before bed. This treatment may prove necessary for years, but it can slow down myopia’s progression. Exactly how remains uncertain, but it may prevent eye lengthening.
Of course, treatment for myopia also involves wearing glasses or contact lenses. Children may wear contact lenses specifically designed to help their eyes refocus. Known as peripheral defocus contact lenses, they are worn by children between the ages of 6 and 12.
These multifocal lenses use a center “bullseye” to correct blurry vision. Meanwhile, lenses on the side make peripheral vision blurrier. The blurring of the peripheral vision may slow myopia by reducing eye growth.
Another option is Ortho-K lenses. These gas-permeable rigid lenses, worn at night, flatten the cornea as the child sleeps. However, vision improvement does not last for a long time. Once the child stops wearing the lenses overnight, the cornea resumes its former shape.
With contact lenses, there is always the potential for infection or the development of corneal ulcers. Children must learn proper hygiene for handling lenses and require parental supervision.
Along with prescription glasses and contact lenses, adults may opt for LASIK/PRK treatment to correct nearsightedness.
If you notice that faraway items look blurry, or if your child is due for an eye examination, schedule an appointment with any of our talented doctors at InVision Eye Care Specialists. We will determine the appropriate treatment and answer all of your questions so that you can make informed decisions for yourself or your children.