WHAT IS MYOPIA?
Myopia is more commonly referred to as nearsightedness, or the inability to see objects clearly at a distance. Unfortunately, many eyes do not grow to an ideal length by the time a child reaches adulthood. Myopia occurs when the globe of the eye has grown longer than its ideal length. This causes light to focus on the front of the retina instead on the retina.
A person with myopia (nearsightedness) will not be able to see things clearly at a distance without wearing corrective lenses such as glasses or contact lenses.
Myopia is on the rise – in its frequency and its severity. The reason for its escalation has been linked to two factors:
Genetics play an important role in developing myopia. A child where both parents are myopic has a much higher chance of developing high myopia (over 6.00 D) than one with only one or no parent that is myopic. Children who are nearsighted at a young age (10 years old or under) are likely to become highly myopic.
The environment also plays a major role in worsening the degree of myopia. Many studies have linked urbanization and education to myopia. Long hours of reading, computer use and near work, in general, are believed to be negative environmental factors in developing myopia.
There are many studies that show outdoor activities with sun exposure helps to slow down increases in myopia. A lack of sun exposure can be a contributing factor to the development of myopia in children. A rule of thumb for a good amount of outdoor activities to prevent myopia progression is 12 hours a week for children during their growth years.
Children who spend more time on activities like reading or using handheld devices instead of spending time outdoors are more likely to become myopic.
Slowing down myopia progression by 50% can reduce the chance of developing high myopia by 90%. It is also known that the higher the myopic prescription, the higher one's chance of losing vision later in life. Therefore, slowing down the lengthening of the globe of the eye to keep myopia at the lowest possible degree is of utmost importance to our children.
MYOPIA MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS
There are three distinct treatment therapies for myopia management: Ortho- K, soft dual-focus lenses, and Atropine .01%. Night Wear Ortho-K is by far the most proven and effective in the control of myopia progression. Ortho-K also has the additional benefit of not having to rely on glasses or contacts to see well during all waking hours. Children, especially those who actively participate in sport activities, love the crisp vision afforded without corrective lenses not to mention the added confidence and self-image of not having to wear eyeglasses. Virtually 100% of all night wear Ortho-K patients do not need to use glasses to see well during the day.
ORTHOKERATOLOGY LENSES (ORTHO-K)
Ortho-K lenses are custom designed nightwear lenses that are made according to one's corneal shape. A special diagnostic technology called a corneal topographer is utilized to "map" out the exact shape of the front part of the eye called the cornea. Using the data from the mapping of the cornea, the Ortho-K lenses will be made to a person's personal prescription, and in accordance with the shape of the cornea. By wearing these lenses overnight every night, a patient under treatment will not require any vision correction during all waking hours. These lenses change the refractive surface of the cornea in such a way that the resulting image onto the retina (analogous to the photo plate of a camera) gives you the sharp vision that you want, and importantly, also slows down or stops the increase in the degree of myopia.
DUAL FOCUS SOFT CONTACT LENSES
Due to the success of Ortho-K in slowing down the eye elongation problem in many children, medical researchers have been looking for other alternatives to the treatment of progressive myopia including specially designed soft contact lenses that can create the "therapeutic" retinal image that in the past was only possible from Ortho-K lenses. Some of the advantages of soft contact lenses are easy adaptation, great comfort, and ability to be made for any prescription and can conform to many eye shapes that are more difficult for night wear Ortho-K lenses. These lenses are also helpful to those who are unable to adapt to wearing Ortho-K lenses overnight.
We are certified in the Brilliant Futures™ Myopia Management Program, featuring MiSight® 1 day contact lenses, the first and only soft contact lens FDA approved* to slow the progression of myopia in children ages 8 to 12 at initiation of treatment.
MiSight® 1 day is a soft contact lens that uses ActivControl™ Technology to slow the elongation of the eyes. ActivControl™ Technology simultaneously corrects a child's vision while training the eye to resist growing in length.
Children can insert the soft, daily wear, single use contact lenses in their eyes in the morning, wear them for at least 10 hours during the day, then dispose of them in the evening.
More than just vision correction, myopia management with MiSight® 1 day contact lenses can help keep your child’s future brilliant.
• Corrects distance vision immediately
• Can slow myopia progression during their growing years
• Offers a comfortable wearing experience
• Allows you to avoid the worry of losing or breaking glasses
• Accommodates a more active lifestyle
• Provides children who wear contact lenses a significantly better quality of life
than children wearing glasses, especially regarding athletics and appearance
Atropine at a 1% concentration has long been known to be the most effective treatment for progressive myopia. This eye drop medication at this concentration has been very popular with children with myopia in Asian countries such as Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore for many years.
Although atropine 1% is proven to be safe and there are no long-term negative side effects. It has however the temporary side effects of light sensitivity and blurry near vision. In 2018, the landmark ATOM2 study of different concentrations of atropine and effects in myopia control showed that atropine at a 0.01% concentration (diluted 100 times) has 50% effectiveness in curbing myopia progression without the side effects experienced at higher concentrations. Thus, atropine 0.01% has become the standard treatment for progressive myopia. Children with myopic parents, those who spend a lot of time reading with lots of schoolwork, and those who have developed myopia at young age are most indicated for use of this drop once a day.