Apr 3, 2023 | Children's Eye Care

Slowing Myopia Progression in Children

If you’re a parent, you want what’s best for your child. You want them to be healthy, happy, and successful in whatever they choose to do in life. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that your child’s vision is as clear as possible. Unfortunately, myopia is becoming increasingly common in children. Here’s what you need to know about myopia management for children. 

Why myopia management is important

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a refractive error that affects millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the eyeball is too long, or the cornea is too curved, causing light to focus in front of the retina instead of directly on it. As a result, objects in the distance appear blurry, while those up close remain clear. Common symptoms include:

  • Eye strain  
  • Blurred vision   
  • Headaches  
  • Fatigue, particularly after looking at distant objects for extended periods 

Myopia can develop at any age, but it often first presents during childhood and tends to progress until the late teenage years. If left unchecked, high levels of myopia can increase the risk of developing vision-threatening conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment, and macular degeneration. Fortunately, there are several methods available for managing myopia in children.

How is myopia treated? 

There are several different ways to treat myopia in children, and the best option will depend on the severity of the condition. Some common ways to control myopia progression include:

Glasses & contact lenses

Glasses and contact lenses are the most common way to manage myopia in children. They work by bending light so that it enters the eye directly onto the retina. If your child wears glasses or contact lenses, it is important to schedule regular pediatric eye exams to keep their prescription up to date.

Atropine eye drops

Atropine eye drops are an effective therapy for slowing myopia progression. Atropine is a medication that dilates the pupil and temporarily paralyzes the eye’s focusing mechanism. It prevents the eye from changing focus, reducing eye strain and potentially reducing the progression of myopia. Studies have shown that low-dose atropine eye drops can significantly slow the progression of myopia.

MiSight® 1-day soft contact lenses

Our eye care specialists at Spectrum Eye Care are certified providers of MiSight® 1-day soft contact lenses, a treatment that slows the progression of myopia. MiSight® contact lenses are the first and only soft contact lenses FDA-approved to reduce myopia progression in children aged 8-12. An FDA approval means that the lenses have been thoroughly tested and have met all safety requirements.

This form of myopia management is safe and proven to be effective. When used over three years, MiSight® 1-day contact lenses reduced myopia progression by 59 percent for kids between the ages of 8 and 12.

Regular eye exams

Myopia management is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Each child’s eyes are unique, and the best method of myopia management will depend on several factors, including the degree of myopia, age, and overall eye health. That’s why it’s essential to schedule regular eye exams with an optometrist to monitor their vision and determine the most appropriate method of myopia management.

Our eye doctors at Spectrum Eye Care are experienced in diagnosing and treating myopia in children and adults. During your child’s appointment, our optometrist will perform various tests to check your child’s eyes, determine their overall eye health, and screen for myopia. If myopia is discovered, they will develop a treatment plan for correcting the issue and preventing further progression. 

If you’re concerned about your child’s vision, don’t wait to have their eyes checked by a professional. The sooner myopia is diagnosed, the sooner an eye doctor can start treatment and help your child avoid significant health issues later in life! Take the first step to managing myopia by scheduling an eye exam in Colorado Springs today!