Myopia, more commonly known as nearsightedness, is a form of refractive error. In myopia, objects that are far away appear blurry and unclear as a result of the optical system of the eye. For children with myopia, the blurred vision may become progressively worse throughout adolescence. Myopia control offers ways to slow, or even stop, myopia from progressing.
There are several different approaches to myopia control. One of the most common methods is the nightly use of a gas permeable contact lens. These lenses are specially designed for each patient to help re-shape the eye during overnight wear. In the morning, the contact lens is removed, and the patient is able to experience clear vision without the use of glasses or contact lenses throughout the day. This technique of myopia control is known as orthokeratology, or ortho-k. Not only does ortho-k eliminate the need for optical correction during the day, but studies suggest that children using this treatment method end up with less myopia in adulthood.
Another approach to myopia control is the use of soft multifocal contact lenses. Several studies have shown that daily wear of these soft contact lenses, which helps correct for both nearsightedness and farsightedness, can effectively slow the progression of myopia. Other approaches to myopia control include special topical eye drops or bifocal glasses.
The global prevalence of myopia is increasing at an astounding rate. Additionally, the severity of myopia is increasing. Farsightedness is more than an annoyance that requires the use of glasses or contact lenses; it is a legitimate health risk. Patients with high amounts of myopia have a significantly increased risk for many ocular diseases and dangerous eye conditions. Myopia control is more than preventing the need for strong glasses; it’s about promoting healthy and safe eyes.