Myopia (nearsightedness) is a common eye condition characterized by objects in the distance appearing blurry. Myopia typically occurs during childhood years when the eye is growing, meaning that distance between the front of the eye and the light sensitive part of the eye, the retina, becomes longer. Blurry vision due to myopia is the result of light rays focusing at a point in front of the retina rather than directly on the retina. Myopia can progress or worsen over time if appropriate interventions are delayed.
In the early 1970’s, only 25% of Americans were nearsighted. Today more than 40% of Americans have myopia and that number is increasing especially among school age children. By 2050 58% of the North American population is predicted to be myopic. The prevalence of high myopia (myopia in excess of 6.00 diopters) is also increasing and becoming more severe.
One in four parents have a child with myopia and about 75% of children with myopia are being diagnosed between the ages of 3 and 12.
As children grow, their myopia may progress, resulting in a stronger prescription to see distant objects clearly. Myopic progression generally stabilizes when the child reaches early adulthood. Among some populations, such as Asian and Indian children, the incidence of myopia is likely to be even higher, in line with the incidence in those countries.
Myopia is becoming more common and can be attributed to genetic and / or lifestyle factors. These include:
Leaving myopia unaddressed may contribute to more severe sight-threatening complications later in life, including:
Recently the FDA has approved several soft and gas permeable lenses for managing myopia and myopic progression in children. Myopia management with contact lenses provides the opportunity for providing our children with clear vision and the potential to slow and even stop myopic progression.
The recently FDA approved daily disposable soft contact lens known as the MiSight 1 Day lens has been clinically proven to slow or stop the progression of myopia in children between the ages of 6 and 12. Children who develop myopia between the ages of 7 and 8 often have their myopia progress the fastest. Therefore, starting myopia management early is important to help keep prescription strength stable, which helps to reduce future risks of ocular complications from progressive myopia.
MiSight 1 day is the first and only FDA approved contact lens to slow the progression of myopia in children between the ages of 6 and 12 at the initiation of treatment. In several long term studies done on myopic children with MiSight 1 day contact lenses, almost all of the children were able to achieve full time lens wear, were able to handle their lenses confidently and had a positive response to contact lens wear. The MiSight 1 day contact lens uses vision correction zones and treatment zones within the lenses to slow the elongation of the eyeball and therefore the progression of myopia. By including both types of zones in the lens, it simultaneously corrects the child’s vision today while influencing the eye to resist getting longer, with the goal of preserving quality vision and ocular health in the future.
Yes. Orthokertology also known as ORTHOK is a revolutionary contact lens treatment designed to reduce or eliminate myopia and astigmatism. Orthok technology involves the use of special high tech rigid gas permeable contact lenses to gently and effectively change the curvature of the front surface of the eye. As the curvature of the eye changes, the patient’s myopia is reduced and the patient’s natural vision is improved. Additional lens changes may be needed to continue the patient’s vision improvement treatment. At the end of the therapy, retainer lenses may need to be worn. Recently, several orthok lens designs received FDA approval for night time wear. Patients with myopia and / or astigmatism wear these lenses while sleeping. This gentle corneal reshaping therapy works very well during sleeping hours. When our patient awakens in the morning, the lenses are removed allowing the patient to see clearly and comfortably for the remainder of the day. Often the patient’s improved vision lasts for several days or longer before the patient needs to wear the orthok lenses again during sleeping hours.
CRT is an FDA approved procedure designed to reduce and eliminate myopia with a gas permeable lens made by Paragon laboratories. The CRT technology is designed to be used only during sleeping hours. The CRT lens is the first FDA approved therapeutic lens designed to gently reshape the corneal surface during sleep and provide clear, natural vision when the lenses are removed upon awakening. Eye irritation or dryness, sometimes associated with contact lens wear due to dust and pollutants is eliminated.
The answer to this question is possibly yes. However, several issues with this patient population need to be considered: