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Myopia Management

WHAT IS MYOPIA?  Myopia, also known as “nearsightedness”, is an eye focusing disorder that is commonly corrected with glasses or contacts. Myopia occurs when the length of the eyeball (axial length) is longer than normal or when the cornea is too powerful (steep). 

 

WHY DOES MYOPIA NEED TO BE MANAGED?  More than 40% of Americans are myopic and this number is only increasing (U.S. rates have doubled in 30 years). Myopia is typically diagnosed in school-aged children, between 8-12 years old. We are seeing more cases rapidly progress to “high myopia” in children and teenagers. Not only does myopia affect quality of life, it is linked to a higher prevalence of sight-threatening diseases such as retinal detachments, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and early cataracts. With the right intervention, we may be able to slow this progression. 

 

WHO IS A CANDIDATE?  Did you know a child with two myopic parents is 6 times more likely to develop myopia? Myopia has a combination of risk factors- family history, ethnicity, age of onset, and activities can all contribute to development and progression. Intervening in the early stages of myopia is key. Myopic children 6-15 years old are ideal candidates, especially when shifts in myopia are noticed yearly or prior to their annual exam.

 

HOW CAN WE SLOW MYOPIC PROGRESSION? 

  • LOW DOSE ATROPINE THERAPYStudies have shown one drop of low dose Atropine at night can slow myopic progression. Atropine therapy has been used for 20+ years to slow the progression of myopia. The eye drops typically cost $45-85 per month and are ordered directly from a compounding pharmacy.

Pros: effective and generally well tolerated in younger children

Cons: possible blurry vision when reading and light sensitivity (rare), 

rebound effect if discontinued too quickly or inappropriately 

 

  • ORTHOKERATOLOGY (ortho-K)Ortho-Ks are gas permeable contact lenses designed to gently reshape the cornea overnight while sleeping. They temporarily reduce myopia, resulting in clear vision throughout the day. They also have been shown to reduce myopic progression. Initial ortho-K fitting cost $1,150 which includes cost of the first pair of lenses. Replacement lenses are $250 each and typically need to be replaced every 1 to 3 years

Pros: clear vision with freedom from daytime lens wear

Cons: possible infection (uncommon with good hygiene and lens care)

 

  • MISIGHT CONTACT LENSES The MiSight 1 Day contact lens is a soft, daily disposable lens that is FDA approved to slow the progression of myopia in children. These lenses allow children to see clearly while treating myopic progression. The MiSight annual package fee is $1,500. 

Pros: suitable for younger children, corrects daytime vision free from glasses

Cons: possible infection (uncommon with good hygiene and lens care)