What Can I Do About My Child's Prescription Getting Worse?
Parents ask this question a lot. There has been a lot of research done on “Myopia Management”. Take a few minutes to read the following background information and available options. When you’re ready we will be happy to discuss this further with you.
What is Myopia?
Myopia, commonly known as “nearsighted”, is when it’s difficult to see distant objects clearly. This means your eye is too long so the focal point is in front of the retina. People with myopia wear glasses or contact lenses with “minus power”. This moves the focal point back to your retina so you can see clearly.
How Focusing of Your Eye Works
The white oval in the eye photo is the lens. This lens adjusts to see things clearly by tiny fibers pulling on the lens to change its thickness. Increased myopia (nearsighted) is caused in part by these fibers also pulling on the outer shell of the eye, the sclera. Just like stretching a balloon, this can cause your eye to grow longer, therefore increasing myopia. The goal of myopia control is to reduce this pulling to reduce the eye from getting longer.
Available Options for “Myopia Management”
MiSight® Daily Contact Lenses
The only FDA-approved multifocal lens designed to reduce your child’s need to focus at near while maintaining clear distance vision.
Prescription eye drops used to reduce the amount of focusing your child’s eyes do.
Using a rigid contact lens to reshape the front of the cornea to reduce your child’s myopia.
Bifocal lenses used to reduce the focusing pull on your child’s eye.
We recommend MiSight® to appropriate patients. Schedule an appointment to decide if your child could benefit from this revolutionary treatment.
Dr. Moody’s Personal Experience
I was prescribed my first pair of glasses at age 12. I still remember walking out of our optometrist’s door and seeing the clock on the building over a block away. That’s when I became interested in eye care.
The next year I was prescribed bifocal glasses. I didn’t know it, but my optometrist was trying to keep my eyes from getting worse. This worked, because my eyes didn’t change until I went to college. Due to the comments I got about how the glasses looked, I decided to go to single vision lenses.
Years later, as a practicing optometrist, a colleague and I fit a number of patients with Orthokeratology (“Ortho-K”). This is when you wear a rigid (hard) contact lens to reduce your prescription by reshaping your cornea. I was one of the patients.
In 1998 I decided to have LASIK. (FYI – LASIK is not recommended for children.) After discontinuing my Ortho-K lenses for 3-months, my prescription went back to the original power. For this reason I have not been an advocate of Orthokeratology.
I was excited when Coopervision came out with MiSight® – an FDA approved, daily wear soft contact lenses for myopia management. A child whose RX is rapidly changing can have the advantages of wearing soft contact lenses and slow / prevent their prescription changes.