Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a refractive error in which the individual can see objects at near, but objects in the distance such as street signs or blackboards in a classroom are blurry. Myopia is the result of the eyeball being too long or the cornea being too curved, and it typically begins in childhood.
The doctors at Vision Center of Lake Norman diagnose and treat myopia in children and adults. They also have expertise in working with children who have progressive myopia.
What are the treatment options for myopia?
The treatment for myopia for children, young people, and adults is usually a prescription for eyeglasses, contact lenses, or both, to correct their vision.
When diagnosed in children, sometimes the condition will stabilize by the time the child becomes an adult, but in nearly all cases it will progressively worsen as the child ages because the eyeball shape continues to grow over time, which means that they have progressive myopia. With progressive myopia, the rate of nearsightedness gets higher and more severe each year. Kids with progressive myopia may need new glasses every year because their prescription keeps changing as the myopia worsens.
Children who have progressive myopia are at a higher risk of developing eye health problems later in life. These problems can include macular degeneration, retinal detachment, glaucoma, and cataracts. Our doctors work with children who have progressive myopia to manage or even stop the myopia from worsening.
What are the symptoms of myopia?
Children who have myopia may experience some or all the following symptoms:
- Eye strain
- Blurry vision
- Fatigue, particularly after looking at objects in the distance for extended periods
Because progressive myopia has a negative impact on eye health and quality of life, it is important to get pediatric eye exams regularly to screen for this condition. The earlier myopia is diagnosed, the sooner the doctor will can create a myopia management plan that can help your child avoid significant eye health issues later in life.
Myopia management at Vision Center of Lake Norman
Each myopia management treatment has varying benefits and levels of efficacy. Our experienced doctors will help you decide which method is most suitable for your child, depending on their needs, lifestyle, age, and myopia level.
Orthokeratology, also known as corneal reshaping or ortho-k, is a non-surgical procedure that involves wearing specialized contact lenses overnight to temporarily reshape the front surface of the eye (cornea). The reshaped cornea helps to focus light onto the retina more accurately, reducing or even eliminating the need for glasses or contact lenses during the day. In children with progressive myopia, or nearsightedness, ortho-k can help slow down the progression of the condition.
Multifocal Contact Lenses
Another treatment option to manage myopia is the use of multifocal contact lenses. Multifocal contact lenses are specialized soft contact lenses that have different powers in the contact lens to correct nearsightedness and attempt to reduce its progression.
Low Dose Atropine Eye Drops
Low-dose atropine eye drops are sometimes used to slow the progression of myopia (nearsightedness) in children. Atropine is a medication that is traditionally used to dilate the pupils and help with certain eye conditions. A specially compounded, diluted formula of atropine is instilled into the eyes each night before bed.
MiSight® 1-day soft contact lenses
The doctors at Vision Center of Lake Norman are certified providers of a treatment designed to slow the progression of myopia which utilizes special contact lenses called MiSight® 1-day soft contact lenses.
MiSight® 1-day soft contact lenses, the first and only soft contact lenses that are FDA approved to slow the progression of myopia in children aged 8-12 at the start of treatment. Approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) means that the lenses have been tested over a long period and have met all the safety requirements established.
This form of myopia management is safe and proven to be effective. Kids ages 8-12 wearing MiSight® 1-day contact lenses experienced an average of 59 percent reduction of myopia progression when used over three years. These lenses not only correct their vision, but also slow down the progression of myopia. They are soft contact lenses, easy and comfortable for children to wear, and they are daily-use lenses, so you will not need to worry about cleaning or storing them.
The first step to managing myopia is by scheduling an appointment at Vision Center of Lake Norman in Mooresville for a pediatric eye exam.
Our optometrists will perform various tests to check your child’s eyes, determine your overall eye health, and screen for myopia. If myopia is discovered, your doctor will guide you through the proper treatment plan for correcting the issue and preventing further progression.