Myopia Control: Solutions for Progressive Nearsightedness
in Murray, KY
At Jarvis Vision Center, our eye doctors have adopted some of the most advanced myopia treatments to correct your vision and address the underlying causes of nearsightedness. We’re here to help protect your family’s eye health and quality of life for years to come.
What Is Myopia (Nearsightedness)?
Nearsightedness is known as a “refractive error.” The process of light being focused and “refracted” through your eye can be affected by the shape of the eye, especially the cornea — the clear, front layer of the eye. If there’s a refractive error present, you’ll be able to see more clearly at one distance than the other. Myopia describes when your eye is too long: this makes your eye unable to focus on faraway objects, causing your distance vision to be blurry.
While many people deal with a refractive issue at some point in their lives, myopia is rapidly becoming the most common one: according to the American Optometric Association, more than 40% of Americans are myopic.
Symptoms and Signs of Myopia
The most direct symptom of myopia is poor distance vision, but this can lead to other side effects or signs that you or a loved one are experiencing nearsightedness. Since myopia is very common in children, you should keep an eye on your child’s behavior, and schedule an eye exam if they exhibit any of the following:
- Squinting to see clearly
- Rubbing eyes
- Avoiding looking at faraway things
- Poor performance at school or work
- Difficulty riding bikes, driving, or with physical activities
Studies suggest that childhood myopia could be brought on by increased screen time and less time spent outside. This is because indoor activities are more likely to put a strain on close-up vision, which causes children’s eyes to develop in favor of nearby vision over distance vision.
Why Should I Be Concerned
Myopia tends to worsen with age, causing life and health complications. Children with myopia typically start out with mild prescriptions that rapidly get stronger until they stop growing, around 18 to 20 years old. And adults with myopia will often see their prescriptions waver or get worse over the years.
These increasingly-severe prescriptions lead to a whole host of problems:
- Needing to constantly update your corrective lens prescription
- Requiring specialty eyeglasses and contact lenses
- LASIK and similar surgeries become more costly and less likely to correct vision completely
- Difficulty with simple tasks like driving
- An overall lower quality of life
Long-term eye health is another concern — progressive myopia has been linked to a greater risk of vision-threatening eye diseases, including retinal detachment, glaucoma, and cataracts. Myopia correction is important in the short term, but myopia treatment and management can be a crucial part of protecting your long-term eye health.
Myopia Treatment Options
Ortho-K Contact Lenses
Ortho-K lenses are custom-made to fit your eyes and designed to be worn while you sleep. These lenses gently reshape your cornea at night, giving you clear vision during the day. Your cornea returns to its previous shape when you stop wearing them, meaning they don’t permanently alter your eyes.
Research has shown that orthokeratology slows the progression of myopia, and may halt it completely. It’s an unparalleled way to stay on top of your nearsightedness without daytime eyewear.
Atropine Eye Drops
Atropine drops aren’t a cure-all, but they can provide relief and make the difference between being able to use standard eyewear and requiring specialty solutions just to see clearly. Our nearsightedness doctors are happy to discuss how atropine eye drops can benefit you or your child’s vision.
Soft Multifocal Contact Lenses
Standard eyeglasses and contact lenses correct the blur created by nearsightedness, but don’t address the underlying causes of myopia progression. Specialized soft multifocal contact lenses correct nearsightedness while slowing eye growth, which in turn slows the progression of myopia. They’re a safe solution for children old enough to wear contacts.