Myopia Control: Is There a Cure for Nearsightedness?

Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is a very common vision condition. Almost one in every two individuals have it. This is a stunning statistic. Even more worrying, studies show that nearsightedness is becoming more common among kids. 



Myopia in Children 



Although there is no proven direct link, studies suggest that kids who spend more time indoors engaged in reading, video games, computer work, and other near-focused activities tend to have higher rates of nearsightedness than those who spend more time outdoors. 



What Is Myopia?



This is a condition where a person’s eye is longer than normal, or the cornea is excessively curved. The cornea is the clear window at the front of your eye. These defects make distant objects look blurry. Myopia can increase one’s chances of developing other eye problems later. These include conditions such as retinal detachment, glaucoma, and cataracts.



Is There a Cure? 



This condition is more than just an inconvenience. Nearsightedness can pose long-term risks. Surgery, eye drops, contact lenses, and glasses can fix the symptoms of nearsightedness and give people clear distance vision. However, they do not treat the causes. 

An elongated eyeball causes the lens to focus light in front of, rather than directly on, the retina. Due to the elongation of the eyeball, the structures and tissues supporting the optic nerve and the retina become thinner and stretch. This increases the risk of developing other eye conditions or even going blind. The faster nearsightedness worsens, the greater the risk of developing other eye conditions.



Diagnosis



A basic eye exam is all an eye doctor needs to diagnose myopia. This exam will include an eye health exam and a refraction assessment. The latter will determine whether one has vision problems such as presbyopia, astigmatism, farsightedness, or nearsightedness. 

Your eye doctor may use different specialized instruments and ask you to look through several lenses to test your close-up and distance vision. For the eye health exam, he or she will likely use eye drops to dilate your pupils. This will help the doctor get wider views inside your eyes. Dilation may cause some light sensitivity for a few hours following the exam.



Treatment



According to researchers, it is possible to slow down or even halt the progression of myopia to prevent long-term complications. Myopia control is most effective during the clearly defined treatable period between eight and 25 years of age. This is the period where there is the greatest progression of the condition. 

The standard goal of treating myopia is to improve distance vision by helping focus light on the retina through the use of refractive surgery or corrective lenses. Managing this condition also involves regular monitoring of any complications. 

Clinical practitioners and researchers continue to seek more effective ways to stop this condition from worsening over time. Some of the therapies and treatments that show the most promise include:
 

  • Orthokeratology.
  • Dual-focus contact lenses.
  • Spending more time outdoors.
  • Topical atropine drops.



To learn more about myopia and how to control it, visit Seymour Eye Clinic at our office in Seymour, Indiana. You can also call (812)523-6100 to schedule an appointment today.