What Is Myopia Management:
Myopia (an inability to see distant objects clearly) has become a serious international vision problem. Myopia increases as an eyeball elongates. High amounts of myopia typically indicate a much larger than normal eyeball. High myopia greatly increases the risk of retinal detachment, glaucoma and cataract. Slowing the progression of sight threatening axial elongation in children is crucial to reducing the risk of these sight threatening consequences of high myopia.
There are several techniques for reducing the progression of myopia:
- Atropine Eye Drops: Eye drops used daily to slow myopia.
- Bifocals or Progressive Addition Lenses: Glasses with optics to slow myopia.
- Multifocal Soft Contact Lenses: Contact lenses with optics to slow myopia.
Ways to slow myopia progression:
- For every 60 minutes of near work, take a 10 minute break doing distance tasks or playing outside.
- 90 minutes of outside time every day can slow the onset and progression of myopia.
- Do not work with the screen too close, keep the monitor at least an arm’s length away.
- For young children going to bed earlier than 8:30PM slows progression by 44% compared to a later than 10 PM bedtime.
- Discourage reading in bed because this causes extra stress on the visual system and encourages myopic progression.
When should children begin myopia management?
- Age: Younger age of onset can lead to higher levels of myopia. Myopia management should start early if a young child is already even mildly near-sighted.
- Refractive Error: Myopia especially in young children is a concern and should be monitored for change over time.
- Myopic Parents: The risk of high myopia is greater for children with myopic parents.
See the research paper on Atropine eye drops below.