Treatment Options for Myopia in Children

Myopia (nearsightedness) is typically treated with spectacles or contact lenses during childhood. Adults typically undergo refractive surgery, such as LASIK or PRK, once their glasses prescription has stabilised. In progressive myopia, nearsightedness typically begins in early childhood and intensifies as the child matures. Many patients and families want to know why myopia worsens and if there are methods to halt its progression.

Myopia has a strong genetic component. Therefore, the child is more likely to develop myopia if either parent is myopic. According to numerous studies, children who spend more time outdoors are not as likely to develop myopia. Although the precise cause is unknown, it is believed that exposure to sunlight may be advantageous. Other studies suggest that extensive close labour at a young age may be detrimental.

This post will go through the numerous myopia treatment options that have been investigated to halt its progression. 

Low-concentration atropine ocular drops.

Multiple international studies have demonstrated that modest doses of atropine eye drops can delay the progression of myopia, although the mechanism is unknown. Atropine eye drops are dilating eye drops that are typically used after eye surgery, eye injury, or eye inflammation, as well as in treating amblyopia in infants. 

This application of atropine eye drops requires daily use for at least one to two years. In addition, because this is a lower-than-usual dose of atropine, a specialised pharmacy must prepare the ocular drops.

Several ongoing clinical studies are examining modest doses of atropine to determine the optimal dose to halt myopia progression. Therefore, the prescribed quantity of atropine may range between 0.01% and 1%.

Contact lenses.

Multifocal contact lenses have also been evaluated for their ability to halt myopia progression. Various varieties of multifocal contact lenses may be prescribed to delay the progression of myopia.

Orthokeratology (also known as Ortho-K) is a less commonly recommended method of using contact lenses to slow down the progression of myopia. Ortho-K entails wearing rigid gas-permeable contact lenses every night to reshape the cornea, the transparent front portion of the eye. A rebound effect (in which myopia increases after Ortho-K treatment is discontinued) has been observed.

Corneal abrasions, ulcers or infections, and scarring can result in permanent vision loss when contact lenses are worn.

Spending more time outdoors and without electronic devices.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been growing concern that the increased use of electronic devices due to remote learning may contribute to an increase in myopia. Exposure to natural light outdoors has been shown to reduce the risk of myopia and the progression of the condition. Currently, it is recommended that children spend at least two hours per day outdoors.

Always consult your paediatric ophthalmologist regarding the risks and benefits of each treatment option.



What Are the Benefits of Giant Plushies on Your Mental Health?

There’s an undeniable appeal to oversized plush toys that extends beyond childhood. As a grown-up embracing their inner child, I’ve discovered the remarkable comfort and joy that giant plushies can bring. These colossal cuddly companions offer a soft, squishy embrace that soothes the soul and melts away stress. Imagine sinking into the plush depths of […]

Read More