When kids get their first pair of glasses for myopia, parents inevitably ask, “Will it get worse?” Unfortunately, if all that’s done is glasses – the answer is almost always yes. The eye gets longer as children get older, which makes the vision blurrier and the prescription stronger.
However, in recent years, multiple solutions have been proven to slow the progression of nearsightedness by up to 80%.
The three treatment options currently available in the United States are eye drops, daytime contact lenses, and overnight contact lenses (orthokeratology or ortho-k).
Eye drops are a simple solution and can be used in even the youngest patients with myopia. The drops are a diluted preparation of a drop that has been used for diagnostic and treatment purposes for many years. The concentration of the drop is customized for the patient’s age and rate of progression. One drop before bedtime slows the growth of the eye, often without any side effects. If side effects do occur – some patients get occasional light sensitivity or blurry vision up close – they can be easily treated by adjusting the tint or prescription in the child’s glasses.
Daytime soft contact lenses help kids see clearly, and have a special optical design to slow eye growth. The lenses are worn just like any other contact lenses – it’s the optics inside the lens that make them special. Patients who use these lenses can see clearly as long as the lenses are in, and wear glasses when they’re not wearing the contact lenses.
Overnight ortho-k lenses are worn while your child sleeps, and gently shape the eye to allow clear vision even when the lenses are removed. Active kids LOVE being able to see clearly all day long without their glasses or contacts, and parents love that the contact lenses stay at home – no hassles or worries when out.
Once myopia is detected, our doctors will discuss the treatment options that are appropriate for your child’s age, prescription, and lifestyle.