Myopia control: is there a cure for nearsightedness?
Myopia is on the rise in children all around the world. In fact, by 2050, myopia will affect 50 percent of the world’s population (1).
An alarming number for a disease that can, in worst-case scenarios, cause serious vision issues or even blindness. So, how can we control myopia, and is there a cure for nearsightedness?
The first step to learning if myopia can be cured is understanding what it is and how it develops.
What is myopia
Myopia, also called nearsightedness, is a common condition that causes far-away objects to appear blurry.
It is linked to the shape of the eye, which, if it becomes too long, can prevent the light entering the eye from focusing clearly on the retina. This is what makes distant objects appear blurry.
After decades of research, Prof. Jay & Maureen Neitz have determined that the eye’s elongation could be linked to the contrast detected by the retina.
What causes myopia
According to studies, children who spend more time looking at screens or books than playing outside are more at risk of developing myopia.
How can we correct myopia and control its progression?
There are no cures for myopia. However, some treatments exist that can control and effectively reduce myopia progression.
Most common treatments to reduce myopia in adults
For those whose eyes have fully developed, here are some common options to correct myopia:
Laser eye surgery
Laser eye surgery is mainly prescribed for adults whose vision has been stabilized for a while. It is a refractive surgery meant to correct nearsightedness.
With laser surgery, the laser reshapes the cornea to adjust how light travels through it. You might have heard of Lasik or PRK, which are some of the most common procedures done on adult patients.
Another surgery exists called refractive lens exchange. The ophthalmologist will remove the natural lens inside one’s eye and replace it with an artificial one.
Both of these procedures can only be done on adults.
Prescription lenses in eyeglasses or contact lenses are the most common ways to correct nearsightedness in adults.
If you’ve ever wondered how your glasses work, they focus the light coming through your eye so it can focus clearly on the retina, making you see clearly. If your vision changes, you will need to adjust your prescription accordingly.
How to reduce myopia in children
Myopia develops mainly during childhood. As your child grows, so does their body and vision.
While there are no cures for myopia, prescription glasses or contact lenses can help your child see better. As for adult eyeglasses, they correct their vision by allowing the light entering the eye to focus on the retina.
But what if there was a way to not only correct your child’s vision but also control the progression of myopia?
Manage contrast to manage myopia
As we have seen, myopia typically results from an elongated eye shape, which could result from abnormally high contrast on the retina. Therefore, managing contrast could manage myopia progression, which is precisely what Diffusion Optics Technology™ (DOT) lenses do.
To reduce contrast, DOT lenses softly scatter light, correcting myopia and helping to reduce its progression. A pioneering technology in myopia management solutions that has proven effects in slowing down myopia progression in children between 6-10 years old (2).
Existing treatments to slow down myopia
As always, consult the eye-care professional and schedule regular checkups for your children before starting any course of treatment.
Myopia arises when your eye shape prevents light from focusing clearly on the retina. Unfortunately, it is a condition that can worsen over time and is particularly prevalent in children. But while there are no cures for myopia, technology has evolved to the point of being able to help reduce its progression in kids.
Interested in finding out more? Don’t hesitate to contact one of our advisors to learn more about DOT lenses.
(1) Holden BA, Fricke TR, Wilson DA, Jong M, Naidoo KS, Sankaridurg P, Wong TY, Naduvilath TJ, Resnikoff S, Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050, Ophthalmology, May 2016 Volume 123, Issue 5, Pages 1036–1042.
(2) Joe Rappon, Carol Chung, Graeme Young, Christopher Hunt, Jay Neitz, Maureen Neitz, Thomas Chalberg: Control of myopia using diffusion optics spectacle lenses: 12-month results of a randomised controlled, efficacy and safety study (CYPRESS)