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Q&A on Myopia Control with Dr. Lewis- Part 2

Here is part 2 of our Q&A on Myopia Control with Dr. Lewis

What is Ortho K/Contact Lenses and how does it control Myopia?

Ortho K contact lenses are custom fitted rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses that are designed to flatten the cornea overnight. These lenses are taken out upon awakening and the resulting vision is good enough to not need glasses during the day. Use of Ortho K contact lenses has also been shown to reduce or even halt the progression of myopia.

My child is too young for Contact lenses, should they wait to begin myopia control?

One myopia control option for children that are too young for contact lenses is the use of the eyedrop Atropine. Atropine has been used for decades in eyecare as a dilating drop. Studies have shown that the use of Atropine in very low concentrations (such as 0.01%) can significantly reduce the progression of myopia without the side effects of dilation.

What lifestyle changes can be made to lower the progression of Myopia?

Increased time spent outdoors has been correlated with a reduction of risk for myopia development. So get those kids regular outdoor time! Reducing the amount of nearpoint eyestrain put on the eyes would also be advised. This would include reducing the use of phones, tablets, and handheld gaming devices.

I have heard that Myopia is being called an epidemic. Do you think so? And if so why is the prevalence increasing so dramatically?

Myopia rates continue to rise, so calling myopia an epidemic is not an overstatement. In fact, over 10 million American children have myopia, nearly double the incidence rate of myopia as compared to only two decades ago. It is expected that 40% of children will be myopic worldwide by 2050. The reason for this increase is not fully understood, but genetics (having myopic parents) and environment (using your eyes excessively for near vision tasks such as phones and tablets) are likely the major factors behind the myopia epidemic.

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