Children with myopia, also known as short sightedness or near sightedness tend to show regular progression or worsening of their vision over time. The increase in myopia prevalence has led to new development of new standards of care. There are several effective treatment to slow down its progression.
Atropine Eye Drops
Atropine eye drops are given to slow down myopia progression in children. A 0.01% concentration of atropine is usually advised to be used at night. This eye drop works by relaxing the ciliary muscle in the eye which gives an effect to the brain to increase the release of dopamine. Dopamine prevents elongation of the eye and thus reducing the progression of myopia. Low-dose atropine for myopia is used for children between 5 and 18 years old. The drops are put in the eye each night at bedtime. Side effects may include redness or itchiness around the eye.
Orthokeratatology are special contact lenses that a child wears overnight to correct blurry vision during the day. It is used to flatten or steepen the curvature while sleeping, reshaping the cornea to get clearer vision during the day. Ortho-K lenses only improves your vision for a short time. Once a child stops wearing the lenses, the cornea goes back to its normal shape and myopia recurs. However, it does provide reduction in myopia progression.
Myopia Control Glasses
Bifocal or multifocal glasses are also prescribed to young children to prevent myopia progression. The top portion of the glasses allows for clear distant vision while the bottom portion contains reading power by reducing or eliminating the accommodative effort associated with myopia. Special spectacle lens design has also been developed which work similarly as Ortho-K lenses by causing peripheral blur and reducing the overgrowth of the eyeball. These spectacle design has shown to be more effective than bifocal or multifocal lens design in controlling childhood myopia progression.