How Can I Slow Down the Progression of Nearsightedness in My Kids?

August 29, 2020

Myopia, otherwise known as nearsightedness or short-sightedness, is rapidly increasing in children across the world. Recent studies at the Brien Holden Vision Institute predict that half the global population will be myopic by 2050. This can have a significant impact on a child’s everyday life, and can sometimes lead to future eye health problems. This blog will discuss how you can slow the progression of myopia.

Myopia usually begins in childhood. It is the inability to see objects clearly in the distance, while maintaining the ability to see things clearly that are close. As children grow we often see an elongation of the eyeball. If the eye grows too long, this increases their myopia further, which means they will need thicker glasses and have worse distance vision without their glasses.

Unfortunately, higher myopia (more than -6.00 D) can also mean a higher risk of retinal detachment, cataracts, myopic maculopathy, and macular degeneration. In our increasingly screen-based world, this progression can be somewhat attributed to the amount of near work we do and the amount of time we spend indoors. However, it is also largely attributed to genetics. Slowing down this progression of myopia has been a recent research goal in the field of optometry.

If we can slow down the progression of myopia, your child may become less myopic; this will reduce the risk of myopia-related diseases later on in life, reduce the thickness of their glasses, and reduce their visual blur without refractive correction. 

There are a few risk factors that can increase your child’s likelihood of becoming myopic: 

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What Can I Do to Slow the Progression of Myopia in My Child? 

When it comes to slowing the progression of myopia in your child, there are a number of things you can do. This includes:

Putting the devices away

Get outside!

Myopia Control

There are a few treatments that your optometrist can recommend to help slow the progression of myopia. Not all options work well for each child, and they each have strengths and weaknesses. Your optometrist will take into account your child’s age, prescription, ocular health, dexterity, and maturity when recommending the best option for your child.

Eye Drops — Atropine

Daytime Soft Contact Lenses — MiSight

Nighttime Hard Contact Lenses — Ortho-Keratology

Eyeglasses — Zeiss MyoVision

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