What is Myopia?
Myopia or near sightedness is a refractive error of the eye that causes distant objects to appear blurry while nearby objects remain clear. This occurs when the shape of the eye is too elongated or the curvature of the cornea is too steep, which causes light to focus in front of the retina instead of directly on it.
What Causes Myopia?
While the exact cause of myopia is unknown, research suggests that genetics and environmental factors play a significant role in its development. Some of the most common risk factors for myopia include:
- Genetics: Myopia tends to run in families, and if one or both parents are nearsighted, their children are more likely to develop myopia as well.
- Age: Myopia usually develops during childhood and adolescence and may progress until the mid-twenties when the eye reaches its final size.
- Environmental Factors: Spending extended periods of time engaging in close-up work such as reading, using a computer or smartphone, and playing video games may increase the risk of developing myopia.
- Lack of Outdoor Time: Studies have shown that spending time outdoors, especially during childhood, may reduce the risk of developing myopia.
While myopia cannot be cured, there are several ways to manage and reduce its progression:
- MiSight contact lenses: MiSight lenses use a dual-focus technology that corrects nearsightedness while also simultaneously defocusing the light that enters the peripheral retina. This defocusing effect creates a signal to the eye that slows the progression of myopia, which can help reduce the risk of developing more severe myopia-related eye conditions in the future. They are the first and only FDA-approved soft contact lenses for myopia control in the United States.
- Orthokeratology: Orthokeratology involves wearing specially designed contact lenses overnight to temporarily reshape the cornea and correct myopia.
- Low-Dose Atropine Eye Drops: Studies have shown that low-dose atropine eye drops may slow the progression of myopia in children.
- Lifestyle Changes: Taking regular breaks during close-up work, spending more time outdoors, and maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine can also help manage myopia.
Tucson Optometry Clinic currently offers both MiSight contact lenses and low-dose atropine therapy. These two treatments may be provided separately or as a combination therapy to slow the progression of myopia in children. If you or your child has myopia, please schedule an appointment by calling 520 885 2052 to find out if you would be a good candidate for treatment.
We can help you determine the best course of action based on your individual needs and medical history.