Traditionally, optometrists prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses to help children see clearly at a distance. The Myopia Control Clinic (MCC) currently offers several different specialized treatment options that seek to affect the eye growth underlying myopia. Our doctors work with each family to customize treatments for your child based on the latest research.
Myopia Control Treatments
||What does the treatment involve?
||What does the treatment do?
|Orthokeratology (Ortho K) Contact Lenses
||Children wear specially designed contact lenses, Ortho K, at night. The lenses are removed in the morning.
||The lenses temporarily reshape the child’s cornea so that the child has clear vision during the day. These lenses may permanently reduce the amount of myopia a child develops.
||The main consideration for this procedure is the child’s ability to handle contact lenses.
|Multifocal Soft Contact Lenses
||Children wear specially-designed soft multifocal contact lenses during the day.
||Evidence for the effectiveness of this treatment is more limited than for the other options.
||These lenses are as safe for daily use as other types of contact lenses. The main consideration for this procedure is the child’s ability to handle contact lenses.
|Bifocal Eyeglasses or Progressive Addition Lenses (PALs)
||Children wear specially designed eyeglasses, either bifocals or PALs (Progressive Addition Lenses), during the day.
||These eyeglasses can slow the progression of myopia in some groups of children by providing clearer images at the retina.
||These lenses seem to work best for children with specific symptoms: difficulty focusing on near objects, a tendency for the eyes to cross slightly and myopia progressing rapidly. For myopic children with these symptoms, these eyeglasses are the simplest treatment.
|Low Dose Atropine Eye Drops
||Children receive daily eye drops with a low concentration of atropine.
||Increasing evidence supports the use of low dose atropine for slowing the progression of myopia which persists for at least 2 to 3 years after the treatment is stopped.
||This new approach with low dose atropine avoids the negative consequences often found with higher dosages of atropine. Low dose atropine does not cause the pupil to open wide and it does not block the child’s ability to focus on near objects.
In addition to the 4 treatments described above, a child who is at risk of myopia or is developing myopia can also benefit by spending more time outdoors. An average of about 2 hours of outdoor lighting per day has been shown to be an effective way to block the development of myopia. But in today’s lifestyle with children focusing on smartphones, handheld games and social media, it is difficult to encourage them to switch to outdoor activities. It is advised that parents encourage their children to make this lifestyle change.