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What is Myopia Management?

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What is Myopia Management for Nearsighted Children

Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach
Dr. Eric Ikeda
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What is Myopia Management for Nearsighted Children

Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach
Dr. Eric Ikeda
See more

Symptoms of Myopia

Myopia is the medical term for nearsightedness, an ocular condition that affects distance vision. It is rapidly becoming more pervasive worldwide. If left untreated in childhood, it can lead to deteriorated eyesight and the development of more serious ocular disorders such as glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal detachment. Early intervention is essential to slow its progression and prevent these more severe complications. Fortunately, there are many interventions to improve vision and stop myopia progression. With appropriate measures, children can achieve a higher quality of life with improved distance vision.

The following article is intended as a general overview of the symptoms and treatments of this disorder, and not as a diagnostic tool. Contact an optometrist if you suspect that you or your child may have myopia or if you want to follow-up on a previously diagnosed case of myopia.

Causes of Myopia

Years of research provide evidence that environmental and hereditary risk factors play a role in this disease. These include:

  • Hereditary and Genetic Factors: "Eye lengthening" and "corneal curvature" are ocular growth irregularities associated with this condition which may be hereditary.
  • Environmental Factors:
  • Under correction of glass: For low level nearsightedness may be a risk factor for its progression in childhood
  • Eye Strain: Excessive strain from digital devices and computer screens, or strain from close up work (such as time spent reading books up or extensive homework sessions) may also contribute
  • Insufficient Outdoor Activity: There is evidence that children who spend more time outdoors are less prone to developing this condition

Symptoms of Myopia

Common signs of nearsightedness include:

  • Difficulty with distance vision (sometimes at night)
  • Squinting
  • Eye strain/discomfort
  • Having to come close to an object to see it.

Nearsighted children often have to stand close to the classroom whiteboard to take notes.

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Treating Myopic Progression

Routine eye examinations are essential for detecting and treating ocular disorders, as well as for checking general visual acuity and overall ocular health.There are various ways to treat myopia. These include various forms of corrective prescription contacts, corneal reshaping measures such as ortho-k, multifocals, low-dose medicated eye drop therapy, and refractive surgery. The latter option is usually inappropriate for children.

  • Multifocals: Allow for a harmonious blending of vision using a pair of glasses or contacts that feature multiple prescriptions.  
  • Low-dose medicated eye-drops: These drops have been shown to improve vision.  non-invasive.
  • Ortho-k or orthokeratology treatment: A corneal reshaping intervention where contacts are worn overnight to reshape shape the eye and allow for glasses/free clear daytime vision. This intervention requires maintenance with the use of retainers. With cessation of this treatment, the eyes will revert to their original shape, and vision will revert to its pre-corrected state.

Homecare Prevention for Nearsighted Children

Parents need to help manage their nearsighted child's eye care and inculcate the importance of good practices, in accordance with their age and maturity. This includes: 

  • reducing excessive use of digital devices to prevent eye strain
  • discouraging eye-rubbing and touching
  • teaching children them how to manage and use their contacts, and to follow appropriate sanitary measures for storing and cleaning them
  • encouraging outdoor activity.
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