Myopia or "nearsightedness" is when the eye grows too long so that light entering the eye does not focus on the retina. Instead, the light focuses in front of the retina which results in objects in the distance to appear blurry.
The cause of Myopia is currently not known; however, doctors have concluded that several factors play a role. Some of these factors are environmental (limited exposure to outdoor sunlight, an increased amount of reading of near work).
Genetics also appears to play a role in Myopia. Children of parents with Myopia are more likely to develop myopia.
Causes of Myopia
Each year, the amount of myopia a child has often increases. Typically, this increase in myopia is seen between the ages of 9 to 18. There are children who develop myopia at an earlier age and some progress more quickly than the average rate.
Risks Associated with Myopia
Myopia is associated with an increased risk of eye diseases, such as retinal detachments, cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma. Usually, the higher the myopia, the greater the risk of developing these diseases. At Glendale Eye Doctors, our Optometrists attempt to control the progression of myopia at a young age so we can get the best results possible for our patients.
Myopia Control Options at Glendale Eye Doctors
Atropine Eye Drops
Atropine is an eye drop which placed in both eyes right before bedtime. Atropine is widely used in the medical field; however, the lower concentration of atropine for myopia control is different than those used for other purposes.
Multi-focal Soft Contact Lenses
These special soft contact lenses have many different powers within the same contact lens. They are worn throughout the day and removed before sleeping.
Orthokeratology (Ortho-K Contact Lenses)
With Ortho-K lenses, we gently reshape the front surface of the eye (cornea) using custom, special gas permeable contact lenses that are only worn when sleeping. The contact lenses are worn during sleep and removed once awake. Contact lenses and/or glasses are not needed for the remainder of the day.