Myopia, or nearsightedness, is becoming a worldwide problem with rapid increases in certain populations. New technology has recently become available to help slow the progression of myopia, and studies show these options provide better long term results for children exhibiting fast growth of their eyes. Obviously, a person with very high amounts of myopia will have problems seeing at a distance without glasses. Unfortunately, if the myopia is very high, it may even affect a person’s ability to wear contact lenses or have LASIK eye surgery. It is very exciting that there are now ways to manage the amount of myopia in children’s growing eyes.
Currently, there are three viable options to help manage and slow the progression rate of a child’s nearsightedness. The first option is using low dose atropine eye drops. This eye drop works by blocking the growth receptors of the eye, thus slowing the growth of the eye and therefore the progression of myopia. The second option is soft bifocal contact lenses. The design of the soft lens creates different focal points on the retina, meant to slow growth of the eye. The third option is Ortho-K, which is a rigid contact lens worn at night, like a retainer, which gently reshapes the front of the eye. All three options have a similar effect, reducing the final growth outcome up to nearly half.