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myopia control glasses contact lenses child with glasses in field

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a common form of refractive error that causes objects in the distance to appear blurry or out-of-focus, and can easily be remedied by a pair of glasses or contact lenses.  Myopia has been gaining attention amongst eye care providers because the prevalence of nearsightedness is on the rise. Not only are more and more children developing myopia, but the amount of myopia is becoming more severe.  While some children are more likely to develop nearsightedness due to a genetic predisposition, research suggests that environmental factors such as prolonged reading and near work also plays a role in the development of myopia. 

As the up-close demands for school-age children continues to increase, studies have identified methods of slowing down the progression of myopia. Myopia control refers to a group of treatment options that aim to change the optical system of the eye and slow or even stop the development of nearsightedness.  Continue reading to learn more about the main methods of myopia control.

 

Orthokeratology

Orthokeratology, or corneal reshaping, is a form of myopia control that uses a gas-permeable lens which is worn overnight.  During sleep, the lens gently reshapes the front surface of the eye and changes the eye’s refractive error. When the lenses are removed in the morning, vision is clear without the need for glasses or contact lenses.  Beyond being an option for vision correction, orthokeratology has been shown to reduce the amount of myopia progression if it is done consistently and long-term. This method of myopia control is best for young adults with low to moderate amounts of myopia and small amounts of astigmatism.  

 

Soft Contact Lenses 

Soft contact lenses that incorporate a multifocal design are also an effective approach for myopia control.  These contact lenses were originally designed to address presbyopia and can be used in place of bifocal spectacles in older adults, but also help relax the focusing system in children.  Because multifocal contact lenses have different prescription powers throughout the lens, known as a “dual-focus” design, it changes the way light focuses within the eye. Research has shown that, when worn daily in children with low to moderate amounts of myopia, multifocal contact lenses can also reduce myopia progression.  

 

Atropine Eye Drops and Nearsightedness

The use of low-dose atropine eye drops can also be used in myopia control.  This topical medication works to reduce nearsightedness development by temporarily relaxing the focusing system of the eye.  However, the drop may have some side effects, such as blurry vision, light sensitivity, and stinging or burning when the drops are instilled.  They also still require the use of glasses or contact lenses throughout the day. The long-term effects of atropine for myopia control are still under consideration, so this is a less popular method.  

 

Progressive or Bifocal Lenses for Myopia Control

Similar to multifocal contact lenses, the use of bifocal or no-line bifocal glasses have been evaluated for their value in slowing myopia progression.  While these lenses are effective in relaxing the focusing system of the eyes, several studies have suggested that they are not as effective as their contact lens counterpart in slowing or stopping nearsightedness development. 

If you are interested in learning more about myopia control, or are wondering if your child is a candidate for one of these methods, make an appointment to talk to your optometrist at Innovative Eye Care. 

 

Our eye doctor at Innovative Vision Care in Belton, Missouri excels in the prescription of contact lenses, glasses and various eye diseases.  Call our optometrist at 816.331.9590 or request an appointment online if you would like to be evaluated for ways for us to help with myopia control and nearsightedess.  Our eye doctor, Dr. Aaron Law, provides the highest quality optometry services  and eye exams in Belton, MO.

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COVID-19 Update

To Our Valued Patients:

Innovative Vision Care will be gradually reopening with a tentative date of Monday, May 4th!

We'll have slightly reduced hours and will be prioritizing care for patients with medical eye conditions, and those with urgent needs for glasses and/or contact lenses so they can get back to work safely, with clear vision.

To schedule an exam text or call 816-331-9590, or email [email protected]  

Rest assured, we will continue to focus on our patients, their safety and the quality care we've always provided. Our priority is a CLEAN (COVID-19 free) facility. To do so, we are meeting or exceeding all safety recommendations by the Center for Disease Control, the Missouri Department of Health and Cass County Department of Health for the type of care we provide.

​We're so excited to see our patients again and have missed you all greatly! We never take for granted the trust you’ve shown in our care, and we will keep you updated as much as possible.

Stay healthy!

The Innovative Vision Care team