MYOPIA CONTROL FOR KIDS
Until very recently, there has been little scientifically proven method for reducing the progression of myopia. Now researches conducted internationally have shown that light rays entering the eye focusing on the retinal periphery have a strong tendency to signal the eyes to grow longer (that is to become more nearsighted). Researchers have been looking at options for altering this peripheral de-focus in order to control or slow down the progression of myopia. As a result, there are now several different methods available for myopia control therapy:
Spectacle lens: Myovision lens by Zeiss has been shown to reduce the rate of myopic progression by at least 30%. This lens was designed by Australian scientists and is available through out Asia, Australia, and most recently Canada. Keep visiting our web sight often. We will inform you as to when this unique spectacle lens becomes available in the US.
Soft contact lens: Misight soft contact lens by Cooper has been shown to reduce the rate of myopic progression by at least 30%. Although the Misight soft contact lens is available only in Asia for now, our doctors have researched a similar product also made by Cooper Vision that can be ordered here in the US. So far, our results indicated a positive outcome for our young patients. If you or your child has myopia, simply call our office today for an appointment to see if you can benefit from this therapeutic approach.
What does Vision Arora offer for Myopia control?
At Vision Arora, we understand that progressing myopia is a concern to most parents. Our practice offer several options for myopia control which will hopefully slow down or stop the worsening of myopia in children and young adults. Currently, four types of treatment are showing promise for controlling myopia: Orthokeratology (“Ortho-K”), Atropine eye drops, Anit-myopia Multifocal contact lenses and Anti-Myopia eyeglasses.
Ortho-K is a noninvasive way to combat the progression of myopia (short-sightedness) in children and adults. This technology allows the patient to wear the Ortho-k contact lenses to sleep and during the day have clear vision WITHOUT wearing glasses or contact lenses. Ask Dr. Arora if you are a candidate for Ortho-K.
Atropine has been found in several studies to reduce the progression of myopia, meaning that students who were given the drug did not become as myopic as those students without the medication. A person with atropine in their eye will generally be very sensitive to light because the larger pupil allows approximately 20 times as much light to enter the eye and near work will become blurry. If the drops are used every day for myopia control, reading glasses, bifocals or removal of glasses (depending on the student’s vision prescription) will be necessary for any clear vision within arm’s length, such as desk work or reading. Atropine has been found in several studies to reduce the progression of myopia and have been used by doctors to reduce myopia progression by 90-100%! Due to the side effects atropine is rarely used, but we may use it in aggressive myopia cases.
Anti-Myopia Eyeglasses and Contact Lenses
Bifocal and Multifocal Spectacle Lenses and Contacts are an easier option. These spectacles are worn during the day for clear vision for both objects far away and nearby to help control myopia progression. The lenses are worn as long as myopia progression is considered a risk.
What else can help control myopia?
Outdoor Time (YES really!)
One of the big surprises of recent research is the importance of how increased time spent outdoors helps in preventing myopia. At the present time it appears that 14 hours a week or more outdoors are significantly effective in reducing myopia progression. Reduced progression of up to 50% has been cited.
How does increased outdoor time work for myopia control?
We don’t know. There are many possibilities and studies are under way to help determine what is happening.
What might be gained by outdoor activity?
Sun exposure with Vitamin D production (Vitamin D is produced by the skin with the aid of sunlight.)
Exposure to bright light releases chemicals in the retina such as dopamine that can control growth
Exposure to visual opportunities for far distance vision
Exposure to beneficial microorganisms
Unknown events that may be caused by being outdoors or that often happen to people who spend time outdoors.
“Outdoor activity” presents a complicated, broad area of research. An example of unexpected findings about outdoor activity is that exposure to the common soil bacterium Mycobacterium vaccae is believed to have anti-depressant qualities and has been shown to increase learning behavior. (News report link of American Society for Microbiology) It increased serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is part of the signaling system within the retina controlling eye growth. While no one has studied the possible connections to myopia control, the results indicate the complexity of trying to find exactly what outdoor time does to control myopia.