Myopia is one of the most common eye focussing disorders in the world, wherein the eyeball is too large or too strong to focus images clearly. Near-sighted individuals are blurry for distance viewing. The incidence of myopia is increasing worldwide, and it is occurring at younger ages than were previously seen.
Since myopia is becoming so common and higher myopia can be associated with higher risk of other eye diseases, there is a tremendous amount of research looking into ways to slow down its progression. Here are some treatment options we can discuss:
This ground-breaking lens was designed specifically for myopia control in children age 8-16 and is shown to slow progression by 59%. Dr Laurie was among the first group of practitioners in Canada to be certified to prescribe this lens when it was released in 2018. It is a daily disposable contact lens.
Certain designs of bifocal contact lenses have been shown to reduce progression by ~50%. This is considered off-label use of these lenses, meaning the lenses were not developed or designed for this purpose. These are monthly contact lenses, which can be more cost effective but hygienically not as appropriate for younger patients.
Atropine is a drop that is often used to cause prolonged pupil dilation; in myopia control, we use a very diluted version – 50 to 100 times weaker than the regular version, which reduces the chance of blurry vision and light sensitivity seen with full strength atropine. This dilution must be specially prepared by a compounding pharmacy. We would typically use one in Toronto, who would send you the drops by mail. The drops are used every day. The decrease in rate of myopia progression is also around 50% with this method.
Ortho K lenses are a novel approach to vision correction: Rigid lenses are worn while you sleep to change the shape of your cornea, then removed on waking. Myopia progression is reduced by up to 65%. Dr Laurie does not offer this treatment at Foresight Optometry, but she would be happy to refer your child to a colleague in London who does offer this service.