Myopia is the most prevalent vision condition worldwide, affecting nearly 30% of the global population. Experts say the numbers will only keep increasing—to about half of the world population in 2050.
Young children are most affected today, and the numbers keep increasing. Fortunately, you can slow down the condition through management strategies that have shown promising results.
Myopia is a condition that develops in early childhood, usually between six and ten years. It usually develops when the eyeball’s structure alters and elongates. The elongation leads to a steep cornea, impacting how light refracts into the eye. The images you see no longer fall on the retina but on the spot in front of the retina.
Once the eyeball starts to change shape, it continues at varying rates for different children. This continuous bulging of the cornea and elongation of the eyeball is what eye doctors call myopia progression. It continues until the child’s vision stabilizes in their late teens—18 to 19 or early 20’s.
When myopia develops, you can easily correct the condition with eyeglasses or contacts, but it can still progress. Progression can lead to more severe and dangerous forms of the condition.
The eyeball elongates much more, and the cornea steepens than in typical forms of myopia. It is a very rare type and is often only inherited and is technically defined as having a refractive error over -6 diopters. Restricted progression may lead to cataracts, retinal detachment, and glaucoma in later life.
Much more severe than high myopia, this condition develops in early childhood. It is called degenerative because it damages the light-sensitive cells in the retina and is a prevalent cause of blindness.
Myopia management refers to the steps that an eye doctor takes to slow the progression of myopia in a patient. The strategies and steps involve specialized treatments, unique eyeglasses, contacts, and, sometimes, medication.
According to experts, the most efficient strategies do not stop the progression but can only slow it down. They can reduce the final prescription to about 50% of what it should have been. However, these results can change with the patient’s specific condition, like the extent of progression at the start of the treatment. Many eye doctors recommend prompt intervention before the disease becomes too advanced.
It is the most effective and popular form of myopia control. Ortho-k slows the progression and improves vision. It involves a pair of contact lenses your child puts on while they sleep, changing the corneal shape. In the morning and during the day, they will have near-perfect vision without eyeglasses.
Atropine eye drops are another effect method for myopia management. Atropine eye drops are utilized in myopia management to dilate the pupil and temporarily relax the eye’s focusing mechanism, slowing down the progression of nearsightedness.
For more information on navigating myopia management for children, visit the Eyecare Center of Martin at our office in Martin, Tennessee. Call (731) 587-3555 to book an appointment today.