Myopia In Children
Myopia (blurry vision at distance, nearsightedness) is on the rise, with 1 in 3 US children now myopic. Research shows that due to things like increased screen time and less time outdoors, myopia has doubled in U.S. children. Myopia is progressive more during a key growing time for children, commonly ages 6 through 17.
Why Does it matter?
In the short term, activities like learning in school or playing sports can be impacted. In the long term, myopia raises the risk of vision-threatening eye conditions such as retinal detachments, glaucoma, early cataracts and macular degeneration (myopic maculopathy); it also reduces the possibility of being a candidate for refractive surgeries such as LASIK.
What can you do?
The good news is that there are ways to slow down myopia progression in children. The goal of myopia management is to slow down the progression of myopia and reduce its impact on your child’s life. The younger myopia management begins, the more effective the treatment. Fortunately, some of the biggest breakthroughs in controlling management exist today that both correct nearsightedness and slow down the progression of myopia. The FDA- approved myopia treatments are designed for kids’ comfort and safety, and include options such as specialty contact lenses that are worn overnight to reshape the eye (Ortho-K) and single-use daily contact lenses that are worn during daytime. Sometimes, specialty eye drops called atropine are used to help slow down progression of myopia alongside specialty treatments.