Myopia has become an epidemic throughout the world. There is likely a link between increased incidence and extent of myopia and the amount of near work children do. There are some methods of slowing the progression of myopia. The include the following:
- Sun Exposure: Some studies have suggested that 2 hours of sunlight exposure outdoors per day can help slow myopia progression.
- Decrease near tasks: Extended time at near creates an optical environment on the retina that stimulates progression of myopia.
- Corneal Reshaping Therapy: This is a hard lens the child sleeps in that flattens the corneal. It is similar to orthodontics but for the eye, and the lenses are like a retainer.
- Multifocal contact lenses: Special distance center multifocal contact lenses create the optical environment that takes away the stimulus for myopia progression, but still allows the child to see distance and near clearly.
- Multifocal eyeglasses: Studies have shown some controversy on whether this method works to slow myopia progression.
- Special Myopia Control eyeglasses: These create the same optical environment as the multifocal contact lenses that helps to take away the stimulus for myopic progression. Studies have confirmed that these are as effective. Unfortunately they are not available in the United States yet due to FDA restrictions.
- Atropine drops: low potency atropine drops can on a daily basis can help slow the progression of myopia, even if there are some possible side effects such as blurred near vision or headaches.
None of these options completely stop myopic progression. However, some of the options may retard the progression by as much as 50%. That means that a child that may end up -8.00 at 17 years old without myopia control may be able to end up only at -4.00. Our favorite options are number 3 and 4 above.