Children with myopia exhibit many subtle symptoms that can be easily missed. Some of these symptoms include complaints of headaches, eye rubbing, excessive squinting, and attempts to move closer to televisions. Myopia, also called nearsightedness, is a refractive error caused by a steeply curved cornea or long eyeball. Myopia causes light to be refracted improperly through the eye, causing blurry distance vision. If your child has myopia, visit our optometrist in Sandy Springs.
With the various advances in pediatric optometry, your child's experience at the eye doctor is likely to be a bit different from what you may have experienced as a child. While there is no cure for myopia, various medical advances have made myopia control in kids a possibility. This means that when they grow up, kids are less likely to have more severe myopia, which reduces their risk for other vision robbing problems later in life, such as cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachment.
The most common way to treat myopia in all ages is with regular eye glasses or contact lenses. However, other methods are being tested and have had positive results, such as the use of low-dose atropine drops on a regular basis. These drops relax the muscles that control the eyes, and are regularly used as part of an eye exam to help diagnose some eye conditions. It is suspected that regular use of atropine drops can limit the lengthening of the eyes while they grow, reducing myopia.
These contact lenses are sometimes offered as an option for kids ages 6-12. The outer edge of these lenses somewhat blurs peripheral vision, and is thought to slow myopia’s progression. Not every child is a candidate for this treatment option, but your child's eye doctor will be able to tell you if it is an option for your child.
Another possible treatment option for your child might be orthokeratology, or ortho-k, contact lenses. These lenses are worn overnight rather than during the day. They correct vision as your child sleeps, and the lenses are taken out in the morning. During the night the corneas are reshaped to allow for either the elimination of myopia symptoms, or a vast reduction. Ortho-k is also a common correction method for adults, but since a child's eye is still growing and developing, some of the correction sticks, making for less severe myopia progression over time.
To learn more about what myopia control options might be best suited for your child's vision, contact Eye 1st Vision Center in Sandy Springs, GA at 404-252-1702 to schedule an appointment.