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Myopia Control for Children and Young Adults


What is Myopia?

Myopia, or Nearsightedness, is a very common refractive error of the eye. Its most frequent symptom is objects in the distance are blurry.

Myopia results when either the eye is too powerful or the eye is too long, and light focuses in front of the retina instead of directly on it. Generally, the longer the eye, the worse the patient’s vision will be.

Myopia is truly becoming an epidemic and needs to be followed very closely. Not only are the number of myopic children increasing, but the severity of myopia is increasing at a very alarming rate as well.

  • In the 1970s, 25% of children were myopic.

  • In the 2010s, 42% of children were myopic.

  • It is estimated that in the 2050s, 58% of the children will be myopic.



What Causes Myopia Progression?

  • Genetics

    • When both parents are myopic, the child has a 1 in 2 chance of becoming myopic.

    • When one parent is myopic, the child has a 1 in 3 chance of becoming myopic.

    • When neither parent is myopic, the child still has a 1 in 4 chance of becoming myopic.

  • Lifestyle

    • Insufficient time outdoors can lead to myopia.

    • Prolonged time spent reading and playing with digital devices, such as computers, smart phones, and tablets can lead to myopia.


What can be done to prevent Myopia?

  • Ensure that children over 5 years of age spend more time outdoors and less time on digital devices. 

  • Recommend outdoor sport and play of at least two hours per day in total, spread between outdoor school activities and after school. 

  • Take breaks every 20 minutes by looking across a room for 20 seconds when using digital devices or reading. 

  • Children should not spend more than three hours a day, in addition to school time, on close work, such as reading, homework, or screentime. 

  • Reading and digital devices should be performed at a distance of at least 12 inches (30cm). 

What is Myopia Control?

In the past, optometry has been focused on correcting myopia with glasses and contact lenses. Although these corrected the problem of myopia, they never addressed the underlying condition. In contrast, myopia control is a variety of techniques used to treat and slow down the progression of myopia.

Tens of thousands of children have now undergone myopia control with amazing success. These children have better vision and healthier eyes for the rest of their life!


Why are More and More Parents Having Their Children Undergo Myopia Control Treatment?

With advances in technology, myopia has become an epidemic throughout the world. Besides the fear of vision loss, there are increased eye health risks as a result of having eyeballs that are too long. As more and more studies show the efficacy and safety of myopia control treatment, controlling myopia has come to be viewed as more of a necessity than an elective luxury by eye care professionals and concerned parents.


Why Should Myopia Control Be Taken Seriously?

Many studies conducted in the past few years have concluded that there is no safe level of myopia for our children. And as myopia gets worse, there is an increased likelihood of more serious eye diseases.

Each diopter of myopia increases the chance of myopic macular degeneration by 67%, retinal detachments by 30%, glaucoma by 20%, cataracts by 20%, and visual impairment by 25%.

But there is good news! 

Treatment is now available! If a child has their myopia control by 50%, it would lead to an over 90% reduction in the frequency of myopia over 5D. This leads three major benefits for your child:

  1. Better vision with and/or without corrective lenses, depending on the treatment method utilized.

  2. Better outcomes for surgical myopia correction (LASIK) with time.

  3. Reduced risk of visual impairment.

Myopia cannot be reversed, but it can be slowed down! Every diopter matters!


What Are My Options to Prevent Myopia Progression?

  • Spend more time outdoors in bright natural light. This is great at preventing myopia and should be used as an adjunct with other treatment options. It should not be used as a stand-alone option.

  • Glasses (FT35 Bifocals or Progressive Lenses)

    • Although this is not the best option to prevent the progression of myopia, it is still better than nothing. Many patients opt to combine progressive glasses with atropine drops which will be discussed later.

    • The prices will depend on your vision insurance and the options that you request.

  • Bifocal Contact Lenses (Biofinity or NaturalVue Monthly Contact Lenses)

    • Studies have shown that specific multifocal contact lenses may be successful with slowing the progression of myopia.

    • The patient must be mature enough to be able to insert, take out, and clean the contact lenses on their own. There is a risk of infection if this is not performed correctly.

    • Fees

      • Biofinity Monthly Contact Lenses

        • Initial evaluation/ fitting/ follow-ups for 1 year            $500

        • Year Supply on Lenses                                               $680-$880

        • Total                                                                            $1180-$1380

        • Insurance may cover some of the lenses, and a rebate may be available.

        • Subsequent evaluations/fitting/ follow-ups after 1 yr are about $200 less.

  • MiSight Treatment Lenses

    • A MiSight lens is similar to a contact lens, but it is so much more. It offers both a corrective zone that help your child see clearly along with a treatment zone that helps slow the progression of myopia. This is the reason it is not classified as just a contact lens. Many studies show that this, along with orthokeratology, slow the progression of myopia the most.

    • The patient must be mature enough to be able to insert, take out, and clean the contact lenses on their own. There is a risk of infection if this is not performed correctly. This is a daily lens, and a new lens is worn each day.

    • The patient must be able to wear the lenses at least 10 hours a day, 6 days a week for them to be effective.

    • Fees

      • $2100 includes the testing for the MiSight lenses, 1-year supply of the lenses, and all training and follow-ups for one year before the next comprehensive eye examination.

      • Each subsequent year will be about $300 less.

  • Orthokeratology

    • Also known as Ortho-K or CRT, this mode utilizes a design similar to a hard contact lens that the patient sleeps in. This helps to mold the eyes so that when the patient wakes up and removes the lens, he/she can see the entire day without any lens on the eye. It also molds the eye in a way to help slow the progression of myopia. According to many studies, this is the option that helps to control myopia the best.

    • The patient must be mature enough to be able to insert, take out, and clean the contact lenses on their own. There is a risk of infection if this is not performed correctly.

    • The patient must be able to wear the lens for at least 6 hours every night for them to be effective.

    • Fees

      • $2,100 includes the testing for the orthokeratology lenses, the lenses themselves, and all follow-ups for one year before the next comprehensive examination

      • Each subsequent year is about $300 less, including the examinations and lenses. New lenses are required every year to maintain the health of the eyes and best vision possible.

      • Replacement and back-up lenses can be purchased for a reduced cost as well after purchasing the first pair every year.

  • Atropine

    • These drops are used nightly to help control the progression of myopia. The exact mechanism is not known. Although most children have no side effects, some may be more light sensitive, and others may have more difficulty seeing at near. If this happens, sunglasses and/or reading glasses can be used.

    • These drops need to be filled by a compounding pharmacy. The cost of the drops will depend on your medical insurance and the pharmacy.

    • The patient is then evaluated after the first month and then every 6 months to ensure that there is as little progression as possible.

    • Fees

      • The initial exam fee is $450, which includes all follow-up appointments for one year before the next comprehensive examination.

      • Each subsequent year is about $100 less.


Yearly Myopia Progression Evaluations

Myopia control is NOT a “one-time treatment and then we are done,” but should be considered as an ongoing treatment until the eye stops growing and the vision stops changing, usually by age 23-25. Myopia control is NOT merely about your child not having to wear glasses during the day, but about trying to prevent their eyes from growing to the point where they are at much higher risk for developing serious eye diseases such as cataracts, retinal detachments, glaucoma, and myopia macular degeneration.

We promise to be as committed to your child’s success as you are, so we will remind you when it is time for your child’s yearly eye examinations, myopia status evaluations, and lens replacements.

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