Myopia is also known as nearsightedness. People who have this condition struggle to see things that are far away from them.
Children with myopia often have worsening vision as they get older. Here is some insight into the condition and treatment options. These proactive measures may limit progression by 45 to 60 percent.
Children with myopia have slightly oval-shaped eyes. The eyes are long from the front to the back.
Their corneas curve more than average, making it difficult to see far away. Children with myopia may have a higher risk of glaucoma or cataracts as adults.
Some research suggests children who spend several hours per day using screens may be more likely to have myopia. Myopia is irreversible. Eye doctors use varying methods to improve distance sight and slow the progression of this condition.
Take children to see an eye doctor for vision exams starting at 6 months old. They should have exams at age 3 and before entering kindergarten.
Many parents and guardians learn their children have vision trouble once they start school. Eye doctors will prescribe glasses for kids who have myopia. Wearing glasses can improve distance vision, but your child’s prescription will likely worsen over time.
Eye doctors may prescribe low-dose atropine eye drops to dilate the pupils slightly. Children can take small doses of the prescription eye drops daily for several years to slow myopia development.
People ages 5 to 18 can take this medication at night before bed. It may cause redness or irritation, but the side effects are limited when children take the medication at night. Low doses of atropine may prevent the eye from lengthening.
Ortho-K is a specialized contact lens. Children can wear them overnight to flatten the cornea.
Using these lenses nightly can reshape the cornea so the eye is shorter during the day. The lens may reduce myopia from worsening if worn every night.
The eye returns to its longer length when the child stops regularly wearing the ortho-k contact lenses. Children may struggle to get used to wearing Ortho-k contact lenses.
The lenses are customized and require multiple trips to the eye doctor to ensure they fit correctly. Like all contacts, orthokeratology has a risk of infection.
Peripheral defocus contacts are multifocal lenses. They contain different prescription strengths in one lens.
The center of the lens prevents trouble seeing far away. The peripheral parts of the lenses blur the wearer’s side vision.
Children with myopia often experience prescription changes as they develop. Wearing these lenses may slow myopia by limiting eye growth.
MiSight®️ 1 day lenses are one type of FDA-approved peripheral defocus contact. The lenses are single-use, daily wear contacts prescribed for children ages 8-12.
These lenses can improve quality of life by making it easier to complete activities without needing to wear glasses. Some young people prefer contacts because they feel more confident without their glasses.
Parents and guardians should talk with their child’s optometrist about whether contact lenses are a good fit. Some children can insert them on their own with no problems, while others may need more help.
Looking for myopia treatment options for your child? Schedule an appointment at Colorado Eye Center with locations in Boulder, Broomfield, Eastlake, Louisville, Parker and Thornton today to discuss how our expert optometrists can help!
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Boulder, CO 80301
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Parker, CO 80134
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Louisville, CO 80027