Myopia (Nearsightedness) Management Clinic
Myopia is a condition that is most associated with blurred vision at distance. It results when the length of the eyeball (axial length) is elongated. Increasing amounts of myopia do not only cause difficulty seeing. Myopia is also associated with an increase in sight threatening eye diseases such as myopic macular degeneration, cataract, glaucoma, retinal tears, holes and detachments.
The prevalence of myopia is dramatically increasing worldwide. Recent studies estimate that on average 30% of the world is currently myopic and by 2050 almost 50% of the population will be myopic.
The doctors at Bakersfield Eye Care Optometric Center have been trained and certified for treatments to help limit the progression of your child’s increasing myopia.
Methods of Myopia Management
- Orthokeratology (Corneal Reshaping Therapy)
- MiSight or Multifocal Soft Contact Lenses
- Atropine Eye Drop Therapy
Please contact our NW location at 661-589-9870 if you are interested in myopia management
Want to learn more about Myopia (nearsightedness) management and control? See our great informational video below!
Who is more likely to become nearsighted (myopic)?
Several factors can increase the likelihood of becoming nearsighted, including genetics, environmental factors, and lifestyle choices. Here are some key findings from several studies:
- Genetics: Children with one or both nearsighted parents are more likely to become nearsighted compared to children with no nearsighted parents. The odds of becoming myopic were about six times greater in children with two myopic parents compared to children with only one or no myopic parents. Another study reported that children with one myopic parent were 1.5 times more likely to develop myopia, and the risk was tripled if both parents had myopia. However, while genes take many centuries to change, the prevalence of myopia has increased significantly in recent decades, which suggests that genetics is not the sole factor affecting the progression of myopia.
- Environmental factors: Some studies have shown that people who live in urban areas are more than twice as likely to be myopic than those who come from rural settings. A study conducted in Taiwan compared the myopic progression rates between urban and rural schoolchildren. The results showed that the average myopic progression in urban areas was greater than that in rural areas. Another study conducted in Australia found that there was a higher prevalence of myopia in inner city-urban areas compared to outer suburban areas. This suggests that even moderate urbanization may contribute to a higher prevalence of myopia. Additionally, a study funded by the National Eye Institute found that children who spend more time outdoors have lower incidences of myopia. It is therefore possible to deduce that children who live in rural areas have a lower incidence of becoming myopic because they spend more time outdoors compared to children in urban areas.
- Lifestyle choices: Individuals who spend considerable time reading, working at a computer, playing video games, or doing other intense close visual work may be more likely to develop myopia. High levels of screen time on smart devices may also increase the risk of myopia. A 2020 study found that time spent on homework and looking at screens had a higher association with myopia than any other factor.
In summary, environmental factors such as not enough outdoor exposure, consecutive hours of near work without vision breaks, and doing near work for extended periods may increase the risk of developing myopia. While genetics play a role in the development of myopia, environmental factors and lifestyle choices can also contribute to the trait
How to slow down the progression of myopia (nearsightedness)?
Things that everyone can do:
- Spend more time outdoors: Spending more time outdoors has been shown to be a protective factor in the onset of myopia in intervention studies. Encourage your child to spend at least 2 hours per day outside.
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule: When doing near work, such as reading or using digital devices, take a break every 20 minutes and look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Always wear most updated prescription: Make sure your child has a comprehensive eye examination every year and is wearing the most updated glasses or contact lenses prescription. Inadequate prescription can make make your child strain the eyes which may lead to worsening of vision and potentially faster progression of myopia.
Myopia (nearsightedness) clinical options:
- Contact lenses: Contact lenses can be used for myopia management. Orthokeratology (ortho-k) lenses are worn overnight to temporarily reshape the cornea and provide clear vision during the day. Soft contact lenses, such as MiSight® 1 day lenses, are specifically designed for myopia control and can be worn during the day. Other types of multifocal contact lenses have also be proven to be effective in slowing down myopia progression.
- Atropine eye drops: Atropine eye drops, a type of medication, can be prescribed to slow down the progression of myopia. These drops work by temporarily relaxing the focusing mechanism of the eye, which may help reduce the elongation of the eye.
- Myopia control glasses: Specially designed glasses, such as multifocal lenses, can be prescribed to help slow down the progression of myopia. These lenses have different zones that provide clear vision for near and distance objects, which may help reduce eye strain and slow down the elongation of the eye. Unfortunately these lenses are not yet available in the United States.
It is important to consult with your optometrist to determine the most suitable method of myopia management for each individual. The effectiveness of these methods may vary depending on factors such as age, severity of myopia, presence of astigmatism, cost and individual response. Regular eye examinations are also crucial to monitor the progression of myopia and adjust the management approach accordingly.