Myopia is a disease where the eye grows too long front to back (the axial length of the eye). The symptom of myopia is blurry distance vision, as light rays entering the eye land in front of the retina. To see clearly, a person with myopia needs corrective lenses (glasses or contact lenses) to move the focus of light onto the back of the eye, or the retina, resulting in clear vision.
While myopia is easily compensated for with corrective lenses, those don’t address the underlying issue which is an eye growing too long. This is most significant in children, as a child becomes myopic they tend to get worse during school-age years, resulting in deteriorating vision from an eye continuing to grow too long. The biggest issue with myopia is that it significantly increases the risk of serious, sight-threatening diseases such as retinal disease and glaucoma. So, it is critical to identify myopia in children early and start treatment to slow down, or even stop, the eye from growing too long. Fortunately, there are now a number of treatments proven to do this, collectively referred to as “myopia management”.
Myopia treatments for children available in the U.S. currently include customized overnight contact lenses, specially designed daytime contact lenses, and prescription eye drops. All of these treatments are non-surgical and can be prescribed by an eye doctor, either an optometrist or ophthalmologist. This is a specialty field, however, so it is important to pick the right eye doctor when considering myopia management for your child. Like any medical specialty, the following are key considerations as you select a provider:
- How much experience does this doctor have in myopia management? Do they regularly and successfully see children and have a proven track record of success?
- Does the doctor have the right specialized equipment for myopia management? It is critical that the doctor be able to measure your child’s eye length, the axial length, with high precision. Make sure that your doctor has invested in this technology.
- Are all treatments available from this doctor and practice? Some practices only offer one type of treatment, you want to ensure your provider is experienced with all treatments available so they can select the right one for your child after a comprehensive evaluation.
- Is follow up care included in the plan? Because your child’s eye will continue to grow it is important that the doctor see your child regularly to assess the effectiveness of the treatment and, when needed, make adjustments to the plan.
Our office specializes in myopia management for children and has invested in the equipment and training to ensure we can successfully assess and treat your child. Our experience has proven that each child’s situation is different, so we customize a treatment plan for your child to get the best possible results. We also have extensive experience working with children, so know how to help even anxious children to be successful in myopia treatment.
If your child is myopic the first step is to set up an initial consultation with our office. We will do a comprehensive assessment to evaluate your child and recommend a treatment plan personalized for them. You can call or schedule a consultation online, and we look forward to welcoming your family to our practice.