Until recently, there was no help in solving the myopia problem, other than giving stronger glasses. Fortunately, the latest research is indicating that myopia in children and adolescents can be slowed significantly with specialty treatments. Some of the institutions spearheading these myopia management studies are the Ohio State University and the University of California, Berkeley.
Worsening myopia doesn’t just carry worsening vision, it also predisposes patients to a greater risk of retinal detachment, glaucoma, and myopic macular degeneration. The higher the degree of myopia, the greater the risk of these conditions. In addition, as your child’s prescription gets higher, he/she may not qualify for LASIK later on in life.
At Battle Born Eye Care, we believe our patients deserve access to the latest technology and treatments and we are continually implementing the latest research into our Myopia Management Center to give our patients the best possible chance of slowing myopic progression.
This technique of wearing a contact lens retainer while sleeping has actually been around for decades. It is a very effective way of gently reshaping the surface of the eye (cornea) to eliminate the need for glasses and contacts during the day. In addition to the visual benefits, it has also been shown to slow the progression of myopia in children. Our doctors use the latest technology in corneal topography to custom make lenses for each patient. We do not fit ortho-k lenses out of a box or fitting set. This custom approach to making lenses allows us to better control myopic progression as well as achieve a more comfortable and successful fit for our patients. In addition, we are also able to correct higher amounts of myopia, astigmatism, and even hyperopia (farsightedness) and presbyopia due to this new customizable technology.
Multifocal soft contact lenses have also been around for many years. These lenses are typically used in patients over 40 to correct presbyopia and eliminate the need for contact lens patients to wear reading glasses for near work. Utilizing these lenses in children and adolescents has been shown to slow down myopic progression similar to orthokeratology. Not just any multifocal lenses will work for managing myopia; there are only a handful of lenses that will suffice.
Atropine eye drops are typically used for dilating a patient’s eyes. Studies indicate that using a diluted concentration of atropine will slow the progression of myopia similar to orthokeratology and multifocal soft lenses. We typically reserve atropine for our younger patients and those who would not otherwise tolerate contact lenses.