Myopia, or more commonly referred to as nearsightedness, is a very common condition. In fact, one out of two people develop it. It occurs when the shape of your eye causes light rays to retract incorrectly, causing objects that are farther away to appear blurry. Recently, studies have shown that myopia is becoming more common in children. While myopia cannot be reversed, the good news is that your eye doctor can slow its progression significantly by using these methods.
Low-Dose Atropine Eye Drops
These eye drops are used to widen your pupils during an eye exam. They are also used to slow the progression of myopia if given to children between the ages of five and 18 in small amounts for two to three years.
Peripheral Defocus Contact Lenses
These are special contact lenses that are typically worn by children with myopia that are between ages six and 12. It is a type of lens that has different areas of focus. The center of the lens corrects blurry distance vision, while the outer portions blur the peripheral vision. While it has been shown to work in some cases, it is important to note that there is a risk of getting a corneal infection if worn incorrectly.
Orthokeratology or Ortho-K is another type of contact lens that a child wears overnight to correct blurry distance vision. It flattens the cornea while you sleep. The next day, light passing through the reshaped cornea falls precisely on the retina, making your vision a lot clearer. As with Peripheral Defocus Contact Lenses, there is also a risk of infection and are also more difficult to fit than regular contact lenses.
Joel H McGahen OD is a low vision specialist and family eye care provider treating patients in Shippensburg and Greencastle, PA, as well as its neighboring communities. To schedule an appointment, please give us a call at (717) 470-7496. Alternatively, you may fill out our online contact form and one of our staff members will get back to you as soon as possible.