WHAT IS MYOPIA?
Myopia is the clinical term for nearsightedness which causes blurry distance vision. This usually begins during early childhood and can progress throughout adolescence.
WHAT CAUSES MYOPIA?
Medical researchers are not sure exactly what causes myopia, however, it is understood that genetics plays an important role. Studies have shown that if a child has one parent who is nearsighted, the child is 33% more likely to develop myopia than if neither of the child’s parents was nearsighted. If the child has two nearsighted parents, the child is over 50% more likely to develop myopia. The environment plays a role in the development of nearsightedness. Research has found that less time on electronic devices and more time outside protect against nearsightedness. Other factors like abnormal circadian rhythm or lack of restful sleep may also cause myopia. Myopia is growing at a substantial rate with only 25% of people affected by myopia in the 1970s to over 42% in the 2000s and a projected 60% by 2040. Currently, in Asia 80% of the population is nearsighted. Myopia is considered an epidemic.
The biggest predictor of the severity of myopia is the age of onset. The younger the child, the more myopic they are likely to become.
WHY MYOPIA MANAGEMENT?
Myopia is a vision and ocular health concern as it drastically increases the risk of eye diseases such as retinal tears and detachments, glaucoma, and myopic degeneration. The risk of developing these conditions depends on the severity of the myopia; therefore, reducing the progression of myopia can also decrease the chances of developing one of these vision-threatening diseases.
HOW LONG DO I NEED TO BE TREATED?
The scientific community has not yet fully determined how long treatment for myopia prevention should be. However, the general consensus is that treatment should continue until age 15 or older.
WILL INSURANCE COVER MYOPIA MANAGEMENT?
Medical insurance or vision plans may cover a basic eye examination. Currently, both medical and vision insurance do not cover myopia management programs. Your vision insurance may be used for the routine eye exam to get a baseline prescription and for glasses.
YEARLY MYOPIA STATUS EVALUATIONS
Myopia management is NOT a “one-time treatment and then we’re done”. It is an ongoing treatment until the eye stops growing and the vision stops changing. Myopia management will not reverse the myopia your child already has or completely stop the progression of myopia. The goal is to slow down the progression of myopia by slowing the abnormal elongation of their eyes. This reduces the future risk for developing serious eye diseases such as glaucoma, myopic atrophy, and retinal holes, tears, and detachments. There is a substantially decreased risk with each diopter of myopia prevented. We promise to be as committed to your child’s success as you are, we will send you reminders when it is time for your child’s yearly eye examinations, myopia status evaluations, and lens replacements and follow-ups to ensure success.
MYOPIA MANAGEMENT WITH SOFT MULTIFOCAL CONTACT LENSES
Myopia management soft multifocal contact lenses are specially designed contact lenses that are worn throughout the day and removed every night. These therapeutic lenses differ from conventional soft multifocal contact lenses by focusing light in front of the peripheral retina. This method inhibits the elongation growth of the eye which results in progressive nearsightedness. (Soft multifocal contact lenses also slow myopia by bending the light that enters the eye in a beneficial way. These lenses have been shown to reduce myopia progression on average by about 50 percent.)
MYOPIA MANAGEMENT THERAPY CONSULTATION AND TREATMENT
Primary Eyecare Associates treats and follows patients for myopia management therapy. We currently use MiSight and NaturalVue contact lenses. Our doctors and staff carefully monitor your child's progress and all follow up visits.
Please call our office with any questions or concerns, or to set up a Myopia Management Consultation.