What is myopia?
Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a condition where objects in the distance appear blurry while objects up close are more clear.
What causes myopia?
Myopia develops when there is a mismatch between the curvature of the eye and the length of the eye. It is caused by an eye that is too long. When this happens, light that enters your eye does not get focused correctly and creates a blurred image instead of a clear one.
Genetics are a common cause of myopia. If one parent is myopic, the odds of a child becoming myopic are 2.2 times greater. If both parents are myopic, the odds of a child becoming myopic are 5.4 times greater.
While genetics play a significant role in myopia, studies show that more hours of near work (reading, computer work, digital devices) correspond to higher myopia rates. We are seeing more children become nearsighted than in previous generations, and we believe it is due to increasing hours of near work.What is myopia progression?
Myopia is measured in units called diopters (D). Myopia progression occurs when the prescription the eye needs to see clearly increases by over 0.25D each year. This is caused by the length of the eye growing longer, resulting in a need for a higher prescription. Most children are expected to progress between the ages of 6 and 16.Should I be concerned about myopia progression?
Myopia progression can affect a patient’s life in many ways. If a patient progresses each year, their prescription may be quite high by the time they reach young adulthood and stabilize. A higher prescription results in thicker glasses and worse vision when not wearing corrective lenses. Patients with prescriptions higher than -6.00 also have an increased chance of developing glaucoma, retinal tears, and macular degeneration. Lastly, patients with a prescription higher than -10.00 are not typically eligible for corrective laser surgery such as LASIK.How is myopia progression treated?
Some treatments can slow the progression of myopia so that the resultant prescription by adulthood will not be as high. These treatments include:
- Atropine eye drops: Atropine is an eye drop traditionally used to dilate the pupils and treat amblyopia. Since the 1980s, lower concentrations of atropine have been shown to slow the progression of myopia with minimal side effects. The eye drop is applied daily before bedtime and works by slowing the elongation of the eye.
- Orthokeratology lenses: Orthokeratology uses uniquely designed rigid gas permeable contact lenses that are worn every night while the child is sleeping. The lens gently changes the shape of the cornea to correct myopia so that the child does not need to wear correction during the day. These lenses have the added benefit of slowing the eye's elongation.
- MiSight® soft contact lenses: MiSight® contact lenses are FDA-approved soft lenses that slow myopia progression in children. We are one of few New Jersey practices certified to fit MiSight® contact lenses. For more information, click here.
- Spectacle glasses: While traditional spectacle glasses have not been shown to slow myopia progression, bifocals and progressive lenses have been shown to have a mild effect on slowing myopia. Newer lens designs are emerging in other countries that have shown a significant impact on myopia progression. While not yet commercially available in the US, they are available abroad.
- A combination of treatments: When a patient has highly progressive myopia, one treatment modality may not be enough. To provide the most comprehensive and impactful care, we may combine treatments for stronger control of myopia progression.
- Outdoor time: Lastly, recent studies show that spending more time outdoors can be protective against the onset of myopia and progression of myopia. Based on these studies, we currently recommend patients spend 14 hours per week outdoors to reduce their risk of myopia progression
Our office will be able to perform a thorough evaluation to determine the best myopia management plan for your child.
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I had cataracts and after Dr. Calderone operated on my eyes, my vision is now 20/20. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful. It’s a tremendously well-equipped practice in terms of the technology that’s used to take care of your eyes and the technical staff is also superb.
I have been a patient of Dr. Calderone’s for more than I can remember and I have always found the physicians and entire staff to be professional, caring and thorough in everything they do. All the physicians spend quality time with each patient to hear about their concerns or answer questions. I personally would highly recommend him to family and friends.
I had originally gone to the practice for floaters in my eye and discovered that I had cataracts. I found everyone at Better Vision New Jersey—from the physicians to the staff—to be extremely kind and caring. I was very impressed with the quality of care I received and how well they not only treated me, but also my husband. Their facilities are state-of-the-art and they are absolute experts in their field.
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