The Four Best Ways to Treat and Manage Myopia

If you or your children have myopia and it is getting worse each year, this article is for you. We will be discussing the four best ways to treat your myopia so it no longer gets worse. Everything we discuss is based on solid science and research, double-masked clinical trials, and recommendations based on mountains of peer-reviewed data. Certainly, we’ve heard and researched other more holistic approaches, if they turn out to be effective, know that this is surely a growing field however and as things change you’ll certainly hear it from us first!

What is Myopia?

Before you can defeat your enemy, you need to know exactly what it is. Myopia is a disease of the eye that is usually the result of an eyeball that has grown too long. We call how long the eyeball is the ‘axial length’. When the axial length grows excessively long, your vision will suffer in direct correlation. So any treatment we discuss has to show efficacy in its ability to reduce axial length elongation compared to a control group. Other times, the cornea may be too steep which can also cause myopia. However, for the sake of this article, we will address the major cause of myopia which is the excessive axial length of the eye. As when we talk about managing myopia, we will be talking about ways that have shown clinical evidence in slowing down axial length growth.

Custom Orthokeratology or Overnight Contact Lenses

Orthokeratology involves using a specially designed contact lens to gently reshape the cornea. The lenses are worn only while sleeping and are removed upon awakening in the morning. There are other names for orthokeratology such as corneal reshaping treatment, gentle vision shaping system, and custom retainers. The technology works by gently flattening the curvature of the cornea to redirect light directly onto the retina.

While initially created to help improve vision so that children and adults can see more clearly, studies have shown that the technology is extremely effective in reducing the rate of myopia progression. The theory is that light is focused in front of the retina in your peripheral vision. This effect changes the optical signals the eye receives to stimulate eye growth. Like all contact lenses, patients need to be diligent in handwashing and cleaning, and disinfecting the lenses for safe use. However, studies show that with proper hygiene this is an incredibly safe and effective treatment for treating children of almost any age.

Atropine

Atropine is a pharmaceutical agent that can be made into an eye drop. This eye drop has been used for many years to treat children with amblyopia, or sometimes called a ‘lazy eye’. It can be used to dilate the pupils of the eye and also used to treat uveitis as well. What we’ve learned as well is that the use of a diluted concentration of atropine can also slow down the speed of myopia progression. The mechanism of action is still little known, but we believe that it blocks certain signals of the eye to reduce the signal to grow longer. By slowing down the speed at which the axial length increases, this can directly impact the rate of myopic progression.

Custom Soft Multifocal Contact Lenses

More contact lenses are being designed and FDA approved to slow down myopic progression. The MiSight contact lens is an example that has been shown to slow down the rate of myopia by almost 60% compared to control groups. These lenses have different powers throughout the lens that optically focuses light in front of the peripheral retina. By designing these special powers, a patient can wear a simple contact lens during the day to treat both the vision problems associated with myopia as well as prevent the eye from growing too long.

Special Myopia Treating Eyeglasses

More glasses are coming out that can also redirect light in a similar fashion to orthokeratology and soft multifocal contact lenses. This is a particularly exciting alternative for patients who cannot tolerate contact lenses and are wary of putting pharmaceutical drugs into their children’s bodies. From large bifocal eyeglasses to lenses with specialized rings of power in them, lenses are becoming more and more advanced to prevent axial length elongation.

Treehouse Eyes Can Help Prevent Myopia Progression

The good news is we help prevent or slow down myopia progression in kids—just like yours—so they can have their best shot at academic and social success! Above are four of the best ways we treat myopic progression once your child has been diagnosed with myopia. Orthokeratology involves reshaping the eye gently with a contact lens while sleeping. Atropine involves an eye drop that can signal the eye to grow a little slower. Custom soft multifocal lenses are worn during the day. And even specially designed glasses are on the horizon to improve the progression of myopia.

The Treehouse Eyes eye doctors use state-of-the-art equipment to develop a personalized treatment plan for your child. Our non-invasive treatments include customized contact lenses and special prescription eye drops. Moreover, data shows that our patent-pending Treehouse Vision System® treatment plan can decrease myopia progression by 78%.

Give your child the tools they need to succeed! To schedule your child’s back-to-school eye exam, visit our appointment page or to see a list of all providers near you visit Treehouse Eyes today.

Are Myopia Management Contact Lenses Safe for Children?

We meet dozens of parents and children every day who come in for eye exams, myopia treatments and other services. During these visits, we welcome and address questions or concerns that parents have about their child’s eye health.

Because certain myopia treatments include contact lens wear, many parents ask whether they’re safe to wear for young children. Here’s what the research says:

A recent study, Adverse Event Rates in The Retrospective Cohort Study of Safety of Paediatric Soft Contact Lens Wear: the ReCSS Study, shows that contact lenses for children are just as safe for children as they are for adults. (This study appears in the January 2021 issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics.)

The study followed 963 children aged 8 to 16 over the course of 1.5 to 3 years (for a combined 2713 years of contact lens wear time) to determine the risk level associated with wearing soft contact lenses. All of the subjects were 13 years of age or under at the time of their first fitting, with more than half of the children fitted with soft contacts at or before the age of 10, on average.

The study results indicate that age doesn’t play a role in contact lens safety. In fact, the risks of developing adverse reactions to contact lens wear among children proved to be the same as in adults. According to the study, the rate of inflammatory conditions associated with contact lens wear were less than 1% per year of wear.

Multifocal Lenses for Myopia Management

One effective method of myopia management includes the use of MiSight daily multifocal soft contact lenses. MiSight contact lenses are FDA approved for the treatment of myopia and have been shown to effectively slow down the rate of myopia progression.

Many parents like this method as it requires minimal maintenance; at bedtime, the child discards the pair they are wearing, and inserts a fresh pair in the morning. It also rids the child of the need to wear glasses during the day, allowing them to freely partake in sports and other activities.

Multifocal Contact Lenses

Multifocal contact lenses are yet another way to tackle presbyopia, a condition making it difficult to focus on objects up close. Presbyopia, or farsightedness, affects nearly 111 million people in the United States with a large effect on individuals in their mid 40’s. If you suffer from near and farsighted vision, you may have thought glasses were your only option for corrective lenses. Think again! Similar to progressive or bifocal lenses , you can also wear bifocal or multifocal contact lenses to provide a natural transition between your near and distance vision.

What is presbyopia?

Presbyopia, a very common refractive error often referred to as age-related farsightedness, is a gradual, age-related loss in the ability to clearly view up-close objects. If you begin experiencing eye strain after reading or are holding reading materials at an arm’s length away to clearly view, schedule a visit with us to talk about your vision. While there is no way to stop or reverse the effects of presbyopia, factors that can lead to a higher risk of developing presbyopia include age, medical conditions, and drug use. Our practice offers a wide range of eyecare services, and vision correction including frames, lenses, and contact lens options to fit your vision needs and keep you seeing your best.

Why Use Multifocal Contact Lenses?

Multifocal contact lenses create a more natural viewing for the wearer because both eyes are corrected for distance and near vision. There are a variety of options available for multifocal contact lenses that can be worn depending on your preferences and lifestyle. From single and part-time to everyday use, there is a multifocal contact lens option for you.

If you have started experiencing signs of farsightedness and are interested in multifocal contact lenses, schedule your next appointment today to talk with our team. It is much easier to adjust the multifocal lens correction provided on lower prescription needs. If you have a strong prescription and would like to try multifocal contact lenses, contact our office today.

The Pros and Cons

Pros of Multifocal Contact Lenses

  • Convenient to use
  • Provide a variety of powers in one lens to allow for great vision at all distances
  • Offer a smooth transition between different prescriptions without the distinct lines found in bifocal contact lenses

Cons of Multifocal Contact Lenses

  • Some wearers find their vision is not perfect at both near and distance, in these situations a compromise is made so one distance vision is better than the other.
  • Adjustments are difficult with higher prescriptions
  • More difficult to adjust when compared with standard contact lenses
  • People who suffer from dry eyes may have more difficulty wearing contact lenses, which may not make the multifocal lenses a good solution to their presbyopia.

Types of Multifocal Contact Lenses

Simultaneous Design

The simultaneous vision design provides a gradual change between near and distance vision. Different zones of the lens are made for near, far, and intermediate vision providing a more natural transition and viewing experience.

Concentric and aspheric lenses are the most common simultaneous vision designs. The concentric design allows for the center of the lens to be the primary viewing zone and the rings around it gradually switch between near and distance vision. Aspheric lenses have a more gradual shift in prescription throughout the lens.

Segmented Design

Segmented contact lenses have a bifocal design. The distance vision is in the upper and central parts of the lens and the near vision is in the lower section of the lens. The two zones are separated by a visible line. When the user looks down the contact lens remains in place due to the flattened bottom edge.

Multifocal Contact Lenses - INTERNAL IMAGE

Ready to try out multifocal contact lenses? Give us a call or schedule your next appointment today!