by Jamie Peters
Myopia is the common term for nearsightedness and affects nearly 30 percent of people in the United States. It used to be believed you could not control nearsightedness with anything but glasses or traditional contact lenses. However, recent studies indicate there are new treatments that can help control the problem.
Glasses or Contact Lenses
Glasses or contact lenses are still the most common methods used to control myopia. Multifocal eyeglasses can help to control the problem in children, but are found to be not as successful with adults. Glasses and contacts control the problem in a small amount during the first year of wear, but did not show any more significant improvement during the second year of use.
Multifocal contact lenses have demonstrated better results. In 2013, U.S. researchers determined that children who wore multifocal contacts for nearsightedness slowed progression by about 50 percent more than children who wore regular soft contacts.
Atropine Eye Drops
Atropine eye drops have been used in improving nearsightedness for years and have proven to provide effective short-term results. One study confirmed that children who used a smaller dose of the drops had better control of their myopia upon ceasing use than those who had used larger doses. However, atropine drops yield several drawbacks, such as:
- Dilates the pupil for a week or more
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurred near vision
- Added expenses
Orthokeratology also includes contact lenses, but these lenses are specially designed and gas permeable. Instead of wearing them during the day, the nearsighted child wears the contacts while they sleep. The lenses work to reshape the cornea and temporarily correct myopia. Because the results are never permanent, the lenses must be worn each night, but the wearer can switch back to glasses or traditional contacts with ease.
One of the most important steps to controlling myopia is to detect it early, which requires regular eye exams. Dr. Caroline Guerrero Cauchi in La Mesa, CA, is the local trusted professional who is experienced in treating nearsightedness in both children and adults. Schedule your next eye exam today by calling (619) 461-4913 or requesting an appointment with our online form.