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Myopia Control in Children

What is Myopia? Why Should I be Concerned?

In order to see clearly, light that enters the eye must focus on the retina.

In myopia, light focuses in front of the retina due to the elongated eye. This causes blurry vision in the distance. Myopia as known as “nearsightedness”, is not only a refractive error, but it is a chronic, progressive eye disease characterized by eye elongation and increased risk of eye diseases: cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment and myopic macular degeneration.

Although higher levels of myopia are associated with greater risk of developing eye disease, it is imperative to know that any amount degree of myopia increases the risk of vision threatening conditions that could lead to blindness in a lifetime.

67 Percent For every one diopter of increased myopia, the risk for developing myopic macular degeneration or loss of vision by 67%. If you’re under -3.00 myopia, the risk is 20x and this risk is 40x if the myopia is greater than -6.00 myopia.

What is myopia control & why have I never heard about it?

Myopia control includes a group of treatment methods backed by Science to slow down the progression of myopia. There is no current method that can completely stop the progression as of yet, but the goal is to flatten the risk curve.

In years past, the only treatment offered to a progressing myopia was to prescribe stronger glasses or contact lenses to allow them to see well, and the eye was allowed to progress until it plateaued once growth was complete, typically in the mid to late teen years

The past decade has seen an abundance of research, studies and treatment options emerge that are effective and evidence based. Having multiple effective, evidence-based treatment options has allowed eye doctors to confidently prescribe myopia control options and tailor a treatment approach to each child’s individual lifestyle. More treatment options involving pharmaceuticals, glasses and contact lenses are currently in development and the future of myopia control is very promising!

What puts your child at risk?

1. UNSTABLE BINOCULAR VISION

An unstable binocular vision is a risk factor for early onset of myopia and myopia progression. Your binocular vision can be examined by booking a binocular vision appointment with Dr. Pink Sidhu and Associates.

2. MYOPIC PARENTS

25
There is a 25% chance that a child will develop myopia if one PARENT IS MYOPIC.

50


The number jumps to 50% if both are myopic.

A

3. INCREASED SCREEN TIME

There is a link between increased screen time and reduced outdoor time.

School-aged children who spend 7+ hours per week or more using computers or mobile video games TRIPLE THEIR RISK for myopia.

Current Myopia Control Options

glasses

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Specialty Eyeglasses and Contact Lenses +

Spectacle lenses or contact lenses may be the right choice for you and your family. It is a non-invasive, safe, and effective option for younger children. DIMMS technology has been proven to slow down 60% of myopic progression.

Learn more about DIMMS technology.

Hoya

Myopia Child with cape

Atropine

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Atropine Use +

Low-dose atropine eye drops are another form of myopia control for children, recommended by Dr. Pink Sidhu and Associates. These drops are administered to your child on a daily basis to reduce eye strain and slow the progression of myopia. The drops temporarily reduce the eye’s ability to focus at near, relaxing the eyes and controlling myopia. This is a prescription item and dispensed at a compounding pharmacy.

Ortho K

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Ortho-K +

Ortho-K is a type of nearsightedness control for kids where they hard lenses overnight to change the shape of the eye. This lens serves as a night time brace. The corneal reshaping will reduce the myopia and allow for daytime freedom form any glasses or contacts.

Learn more about Ortho-K.

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Vision Therapy/Vision Training +

VT aims to equip the child with skills to better handle the increased modern day demands and visual stress at near. In turn, it helps slow down the onset of myopia. It was thought earlier, that only high amounts of myopia were a risk for early eye diseases, but it is now known that no amount of myopia is safe.

Vision therapy is helpful to all patients, but it is especially beneficial for emergent/pre-myopes and early myopes because it helps strengthen near vision skills. Myopia is a symptom and an adaptation to an overloaded or fragile near visual system due to modern day activities ( increased screen time, excessive near tasks and limited outdoor time). Function alters structure. VT helps delay the process for those who are transitioning from an “as if” myopic visual system, and adapting to an “is“ myopic visual system.

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