Is your child’s nearsightedness (myopia) increasing every year? We may have a way to slow down or stop that progression in its tracks.
Myopia control is a field of visual treatment which uses advanced techniques to help permanently halt myopia, or at the least slow the elongation of the globe (the main cause of myopia) to a crawl.
To learn more about myopia control, or to start treatment, book an appointment and let’s start the conversation today.
Myopia (or nearsightedness) is a condition in which the lens of the eye grows and elongates over time. Close-up objects can be viewed more clearly than distant ones, but since the eye continues to grow, the condition becomes more and more pronounced over time.
The usual method for dealing with myopia is to correct – not treat – the condition by using corrective lenses. Whether it’s glasses or contacts, these re-focus the light entering our eyes such that we can see distant objects or writing clearly.
Unfortunately this is, while useful, just temporary – the eye is still elongating, the problem is still getting worse.
There are different methods with a shared goal: halting elongation of the eye. If a treatment method can, at any stage, stop this growth, then the condition ceases to be progressive. Your child’s lens prescription may now be stabilized for years, and permanent treatments such as laser eye surgery may become a viable future option.
The two most popular and well-proven techniques are speciality rigid gas permeable lenses (RGPs) and atropine eye drops. Research is ongoing however, and we may not be far away from a definitive way to control myopia, preferably halting it entirely.
Unlike normal contact lenses, these are worn overnight. These lenses temporarily reshape the cornea, or front of the eye, while you sleep, and are removed upon waking. During the day, light is focused correctly on the retina and the individual experiences clear eyesight without the use of glasses or contact lenses. By repeating this process night after night, the increase in myopia slows down. In some cases, it has been shown to halt growth entirely. As it is completely reversible, orthokeratology treatments do not affect the wearer’s candidacy for laser surgery or other myopia correction procedures in the future.
It is believed that fatigued eye focusing muscles (also one of the causes of digital eye strain) may be responsible for myopia. These eye drops force the muscles to relax, and have performed brilliantly in clinical trials - for the first year. It remains to be seen if atropine drops can have any considerably effect beyond the first 12 months.
You can find us on the corner of St Paul St and 3rd Ave. We are 3 blocks down 3rd Ave from Royal Inland Hospital, towards downtown. Our office is across the street from the Telus Store and Stuart Wood school yard (where the summer Farmer’s Market is on Saturdays).