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MYOPIA CONTROL

Myopia Control Treatment: A Guide for Parents

As a parent, you may have heard about myopia or "nearsightedness" and its impact on your child's vision. Myopia is a common refractive error where distant objects appear blurry while close objects remain clear. It's crucial to understand that myopia can progress over time, potentially leading to more severe vision problems if left unmanaged. Fortunately, effective treatments are available to control myopia progression, known as Myopia Control Treatment.

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Understanding Myopia

Imagine your child's eye as a camera. In a normal eye, light rays focus precisely on the retina, located at the back of the eye, creating a clear image. However, in a myopic eye, the eyeball is slightly elongated, or the cornea (the clear front surface of the eye) is too curved. This causes light rays to focus in front of the retina instead of directly on it, resulting in blurry distance vision.

Myopia typically develops during childhood, often between the ages of 6 and 12, and tends to worsen gradually as the child grows. Factors such as genetics, prolonged near work (such as reading or screen time), and limited outdoor activities can contribute to its progression.

Potential Complications of Untreated Myopia:

Untreated myopia can lead to serious eye health issues with increased risk, including:

  • Progressive Vision Loss: Without intervention, myopia worsens over time, making everyday tasks like driving and reading increasingly difficult.
     

  • Retinal Degeneration: Severe myopia can lead to thinning of the retina, increasing the risk of retinal tears and macular degeneration.
     

  • Reduced Quality of Life: Untreated myopia can impact a child's academic performance, social interactions, and overall well-being.
     

  • Dependence on Corrective Lenses: Myopia progression may require stronger glasses or contacts, affecting your child's comfort. 

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Seeking early treatment and myopia control measures can help prevent these complications and ensure your child's eye health.

 

Research indicates that myopia is becoming increasingly prevalent worldwide, with studies showing that up to 30% of the global population is affected by myopia, and this number is expected to rise to 50% by 2050 if left unaddressed.

Myopia Control Treatment

Fortunately, we offer several effective methods to slow down or control myopia progression in children:

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Orthokeratology (Ortho-K): This treatment involves wearing specially designed gas-permeable contact lenses overnight to temporarily reshape the cornea. Studies have shown that Ortho-K can reduce myopia progression by up to 50%.

 

Atropine Eye Drops: Atropine eye drops are another option for myopia control. These drops are instilled into the eyes daily to temporarily relax the focusing mechanism of the eye, which helps slow down the elongation of the eyeball, thereby reducing myopia progression by around 40%.

 

Myopia Control Contact Lenses: These lenses have different powers in different zones, allowing the eyes to focus on both near and distant objects simultaneously. By reducing eye strain during close-up activities, multifocal contact lenses can help slow myopia progression by up to 30%.

Keeping Myopia Away with Outside Play

Beyond treatment options, there are also preventive measures parents can take to help reduce the risk of myopia development and progression:

Outdoor Time: Encourage your child to spend more time outdoors. Studies have shown that spending at least 2 hours per day outdoors can reduce the risk of myopia development by up to 50%. Outdoor activities expose the eyes to natural sunlight, which may play a protective role against myopia.

Screen Time Management: Limit your child's screen time and encourage regular breaks using the "20-20-20" rule. Every 20 minutes, have your child take a 20-second break and focus on something 20 feet away. This helps reduce eye strain associated with prolonged work, such as reading or using digital devices.

Appropriate Reading Distance: Ensure that your child maintains an appropriate reading distance of approximately 16 inches away from books or screens. Sitting too close to the material can strain the eyes and contribute to myopia progression.

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By incorporating these preventive measures into your child's daily routine and discussing myopia control options with your eye care professional, you can actively support your child's eye health and well-being, helping to ensure clear vision for years to come.

As a parent, being proactive about managing your child's myopia is crucial for their long-term eye health and overall well-being. By understanding the importance of myopia control and exploring suitable treatment options with us, you can help safeguard your child's vision and ensure a bright and clear future. Book an appointment with us today.

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