Myopia Control Therapy, Vision for Learning

Myopia Control Therapy

Bridgman Eyecare now have specialist methods to reduce the rate at which children become more shortsighted.  These are:

myopiLUX spectacle lenses from Essilor;
Orthokeratology: see Contact Lens Specialists for more information;
Atropine 0,.01% eye drops
: see Myopia Control with an Eyedrop ... lable in Dunedin and Balclutha
MySight 1 Day myopia Management soft contact lenses.

Why control the progression of myopia (short sightedness)?  
Because myopia increases the risk of many eye diseases, and the risk increases with more  of myopia.  If we control (slow) the rate at which the myopia gets worse then we can achieve a lower final (adult) amount of myopia, reducing not only the disease risk but also the reliance on glasses, contact lenses, or laser surgery for myopia.

How well is this proven to work, and are there alternatives?
The Essilor myopiLUX is an excellent low cost option - with complete glasses in this specialised design costing only $429 for most prescriptions.   This advanced optical technology has been shown to reduce the rate of progression by around 40%.  

Studies which treated only one eye have shown a slowing of myopia progression of about 60% in the treated eye compared to the untreated one for Atropine 0.01% and the MySight contact lenses.    This is not quite as effective as orthokeratology but probably has less risk of a rebound effect when treatment is stopped.
Multifocal soft contact lenses are also shown to reduce the rate of progression.  We currently are investigating becoming stockists of a new lens which is the best proven example of this design, specifically aimed at fitting childrens’ eyes for myopia control.
We also recommend that children spend on average two hours outside per day, this might be 6 hours in the summer and not at all on a cold winter’s day but time outdoors reduces the risk of myopia. It’s fine to wear sunglasses, and remember your hat and sunblock too.
Having a regular short break during long periods of reading might help in theory too, although this is not experimentally proven.  Long periods of reading can thin the Choroid, a layer at the back of the eye, and make it temporarily more myopia.  We are not sure whether this becomes permanent or is reversible. Taking a 20 second look out the window every 20 minutes during close work can reduce the choroidal thinning.
In fact the best way to control myopia may be a combination of several of the above – time outside doing distance vision things, plus atropine, plus either multifocal contact lenses or orthokeratology.  It really depends on what is affordable for each family, and on how each individual child takes to each option.


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