Refractive errors are the most prevalent vision issues worldwide, but of them, myopia takes the lead. Myopia is a vision issue that causes things to blur the farther they are from your face. It is so common that in the past forty years alone, the number of people affected in the U.S. has grown by 25%.
Moreover, between 2010 and 2050, the number of people with the condition will have gone from two billion to almost five billion. Experts note that the numbers keep rising and are not entirely attributed to genetics. Other factors play critical roles in the increasing numbers. Unfortunately, one of the most affected demographics is kids.
Scientists have been working on ways to manage the condition, as management is the best way to protect your child's vision from the negative impact of myopia development.
Myopia is a refractive error that develops with atypical changes in the eye structure. The cause for the changes has yet to be entirely understood, but the structural changes are. The condition begins when the eyeball starts to elongate and the cornea bulges. It usually develops when a child is under 10 and continues until their vision stabilizes.
Myopia management is a set of strategies an eye doctor can implement to control your child's myopia. The elongation of the eyeball usually keeps going until a child is about 21 years old. The eyeball's continual elongation and the cornea bulging are called myopia progression.
Myopia management is meant to slow down the progression and eventually stop it completely. Scientists and eye doctors have developed many ideas and theories on how to slow myopia progression. Here are a few that have shown promising results.
First in the lineup of effective myopia management is orthokeratology or ortho-k. This specialty lens is regarded as corneal reshaping therapy because it works by reshaping the cornea. You wear the lenses when you sleep and take them out in the morning. It leaves you with near-perfect vision throughout the day without needing prescriptive eyewear.
While you sleep, the gentle reshaping of the cornea helps slow myopia's progression. The lenses work best for young children, but adults who do not want to use prescriptive eyewear can also use them.
If your child develops myopia with esophoria, bifocal or multifocal eyeglasses will help. These eyeglasses are quite effective.
Atropine eye drops are the only form of medication approved for myopia management. The eye drops help to slow down the elongation of the eyeball and the corneal bulging.
For more on the most effective types of myopia management, contact San Marcos Vision Center at our office in San Marcos, Texas. Call (512) 890-0660 to book an appointment today.