At Chelmsford Optometric Associates, we can help you manage myopia so that you or a loved one can see life clearly. We offer several myopia management options for this common eye disorder, which can improve vision and slow the progression of myopia in children.
What Is Myopia?
Myopia, also referred to as nearsightedness, is a vision condition that causes objects at a distance to appear blurry and out of focus. Objects nearer to the individual are typically clear. It is possible to have myopia in addition to other vision conditions.
Myopia is caused by the eye growing too long from front to back, which causes incoming light to focus in front of the retina rather than on it, where it should be. Myopia can also be caused by excessive corneal curvature or a lens within the eye that is too thick.
Typically, this condition develops during childhood when the eyeball is going through periods of rapid growth. It may continue to progress quickly until early adulthood where the eye tends to stabilize and the condition progresses more slowly. Childhood myopia is usually diagnosed between the ages of 5 and 7.
Prevalence of Myopia
Unfortunately, myopia is not only common but also growing in prevalence. Currently, it is estimated that as much as 25% of the world (1.5 billion people) are considered myopic, and that number is expected to grow to 50% by 2050.
Although several factors may be contributing to this growing number, researchers and eye doctors agree that a major factor is eye fatigue from the increasing amount of close-up work we do, including using computers, phones, and tablets, reading, and studying. Additionally, less time spent outdoors may also contribute to the increasing diagnosis of myopia in patients. Essentially, we are spending more time looking at objects closer to our faces and less time allowing our eyes to focus on those far away.
How to Manage Myopia
Myopia management involves a series of treatments where our team works to slow down the progression of myopia.. Primarily, this treatment works to change the structure of the eye by reducing stress and fatigue, which are significant factors in the development and progression of myopia.
We understand that every patient is different and offer several different treatment options that are customized to you and your unique needs.
Myopia management treatments may include:
- Atropine eye drops
- Multifocal contact lenses
- Orthokeratology (also known as ortho-k)
Our doctors carefully monitor each patient on myopia management and each case is reviewed every 6-12 months to ensure progress and efficacy in treatment. We are proud to offer this evidence-based treatment that works to prevent the onset or reduce the progression of nearsightedness in our patients. Our dedicated team prides itself on staying at the forefront of eye care advancements so you can feel confident choosing us for your treatment.
What to Expect
All patients are subject to an extensive vision examination. During this exam, an optometrist will check for several things, including:
- Axial length and retinal shape measurements
- Corneal topography and choroidal thickness measurements
- Cycloplegic axial and peripheral autorefraction
- Lifestyle questionnaire to determine the amount of time spent outdoors and doing near-work
- Discussion of the results
- Development of individualized treatment plan
Each of these tests is non-invasive and your comfort is a top priority for us. Our team is also familiar with helping children, and we are happy to explain anything you or your child has questions about.
Chelmsford Optometric Associates proudly serves our patients with excellent care. To schedule an appointment, please give us a call at (978) 256-5731.