Myopia, also called nearsightedness or shortsightedness, is a progressive visual disorder that results in poor distance vision. It is caused by the eye being slightly too long, so the light focuses in front of the retina creating the blurred image.
The number of children becoming myopic (near-sighteded) has been growing rapidly. Increasing myopia causes not only poor vision, but can also lead to sight-threatening conditions like retinal detachments and glaucoma.
Studies now show that there are several methods to slow or prevent the eye from becoming more myopic. These methods are known as “Myopia Control”. Although no method is 100% guaranteed, the earlier the treatment is started the more effective it is reported to be. Children as young as 5 years of age can benefit from myopia control. In many cases, even if a child is not yet myopic, but has a family history of myopia, they can benefit from myopia control methods to prevent becoming nearsighted in the future.
The specific type of myopia control depends on patient age, prescription, health of the front surface of the eye (tear film), and health of the back of the eye (retina). Sometimes methods of myopia control are combined for maximum results. The three main methods of myopia control are ortho-keratology, soft multi-focal contact lens wear, and atropine treatment.