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Comparing the Options for Myopia Control in Children

March 25, 2024

Myopia is a common refractive error that affects many children worldwide. It is characterized by the inability to see distant objects clearly, while close objects appear in focus. Myopia can have a significant impact on a child's daily life, including their academic performance and overall quality of life. By understanding these options, parents can make informed decisions about the best approach for their child's myopia control.

What is Myopia and Its Impact on Children?

Myopia is a refractive error that causes distant objects to appear blurry, while close objects remain clear. It occurs when the eyeball is too long, or the cornea is too curved, causing light to focus in front of the retina instead of directly on it. Myopia usually develops during childhood and tends to progress until the eye stops growing, typically in the early twenties.

Myopia can affect a child's ability to learn and perform well academically. Children with myopia may have difficulty reading the board in the classroom or seeing objects clearly during sports and outdoor activities. Untreated or uncontrolled myopia can lead to more severe complications later in life, such as retinal detachment, glaucoma, and cataracts.

The Importance of Myopia Management in Children

Myopia management focuses on slowing down the progression of myopia in children. Traditional approaches, such as prescribing glasses or contact lenses with the child's current prescription, only correct the vision but do not address the underlying cause of myopia progression. Recent advancements in myopia management techniques aim to control the progression of myopia and potentially reduce the risk of associated eye diseases in the future.

Early intervention is key in myopia management. The earlier the treatment starts, the better the chances of controlling myopia progression. Regular eye examinations are essential to monitor the child's myopia and determine the most suitable management approach. By actively managing myopia in children, parents and eye care professionals can work together to minimize the potential long-term impact of myopia and protect the child's vision.

Options for Myopia Control

Several options are available for myopia control in children. Each option works differently to slow down the progression of myopia. Let's explore the effectiveness of Ortho-K, MiyoSmart glasses, atropine eye drops, and MiSight contact lenses.

Orthokeratology, commonly known as Ortho-K, is a non-surgical method of myopia control that involves wearing specially designed rigid contact lenses overnight. These lenses gently reshape the cornea, temporarily correcting the child's vision during the day. The effects of Ortho-K lenses typically last for one to two days, requiring the child to wear them every night for continuous myopia control.

MiyoSmart glasses are another innovative option for myopia control in children. These glasses utilize a spectacle lens with a novel Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments (DIMS) technology. The DIMS technology helps to redirect peripheral light, creating a myopic defocus on the retina. This myopic defocus has been shown to slow down the progression of myopia in children.

Atropine eye drops are a pharmacological approach to myopia control. These eye drops work by dilating the pupil and temporarily paralyzing the focusing mechanism of the eye. By doing so, atropine eye drops help to relax the eye's accommodative system, reducing the strain associated with myopia progression.

MiSight contact lenses are the first soft contact lenses specifically designed for myopia control in children. These daily disposable contact lenses incorporate a concentric dual-focus design, providing clear vision for both near and distance. The peripheral defocus created by the dual-focus design helps to slow down the progression of myopia in children.

Comparing Your Options

When comparing the effectiveness of these myopia control options, it is essential to consider various factors such as the degree of myopia, age of the child, lifestyle, and personal preferences. Each option has its advantages and limitations.

Ortho-K has been proven to be highly effective in slowing down myopia progression, especially for children with moderate to high levels of nearsightedness. However, it requires consistent adherence to wearing the lenses overnight and regular follow-up visits to the eye care professional.

MiyoSmart glasses offer a non-invasive and convenient option for myopia control. They have shown promising results in slowing down myopia progression, particularly for children with lower levels of nearsightedness. However, the effectiveness may vary depending on individual factors.

Atropine eye drops have been found to be effective in slowing down myopia progression. However, the temporary side effects and the need for regular administration can be a drawback for some children and parents.

MiSight contact lenses provide an easy-to-use option for myopia control. They have demonstrated significant effectiveness in slowing down myopia progression in various clinical studies. However, they may not be suitable for children with certain eye conditions or those who are not comfortable with contact lens wear.

Tackle Myopia Effectively with the Help of NVISION Eyecare Today

Myopia control in children is vital to minimize the potential complications associated with this refractive error. Ortho-K, MiyoSmart glasses, atropine eye drops, and MiSight contact lenses are effective options for myopia control in children. Each option offers unique benefits and considerations, and the best choice depends on the child's individual needs and circumstances. By understanding the available options and working closely with an eye care professional, parents can make informed decisions to help manage and control their child's myopia effectively.

Take the first step in managing your child's myopia by scheduling an appointment with our professionals today. Visit NVISION Eyecare at our office in Auckland, New Zealand, or call 09-884-0034 to book an appointment today.