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What is the best treatment for myopia?


Myopia Treatment Options

The five main treatment options for myopia management include:
  • Pharmaceutical Eye Drops. Optometrist/Ophthalmologist prescribed eye drops, such as in the form of low-dose atropine eye drop, represent a pharmaceutical approach to myopia treatment. Current pharmaceutical solution do not restore perfect vision, but do slow the progression of myopia as long as treatment is maintained. However, the long-term side effects and permanent efficacy of atropine eye drops are not yet fully understood.
  • Standard Eyeglasses. Traditional ophthalmic eyeglass lenses are the most common method for treating myopia in children. However, standard eyeglass lenses are designed to correct myopia – they do not assist with slowing the advancement of myopia.
  • Myopia Control Eyeglasses (overnight wear). Special myopia management eyeglass lenses, such as those in the Myopia Management Portfolio from Hoya (See MiYOSMART Lenses) and ZEISS, are a convenient and effective method for treating progressive myopia in children. These myopia control eyeglass lenses are designed for treating the progression of myopia and are arguably the most comfortable, convenient, and easy-to-care-for solution for young patients. Studies have demonstrated that lenses designed for myopia management are a better solution than standard single vision lenses.
  • Myopia Control Soft Contact Lenses. The progression of myopia among children can also be treated with special soft contact lenses. These feature a multifocal design with different powers and are worn like standard contacts throughout the day. Wearers only sees distant objects through defined sections, while other sections of the contact lenses only provide corrective power for near distance objects. This unique geometry sends signals to the eye that can help curb myopia progression.
  • Ortho-Keratology Contact Lenses (night time wear). With this type of myopia treatment, the child only wears special, stable-shaped contact lenses, called orthokeratology contact lenses or 'ortho-k' for short, while sleeping. These contact lenses reshape the cornea during the night and are then removed the next morning. This treatment type addresses the correction of myopia by slowing down the elongation of the eye, which factors in the progression of the myopia as well. Following a night wearing orthokeratology contact lenses, a person can see clearly without glasses the next day. However, the effectiveness of this method can vary from day to day.

Defining What Best Means

Individuals should consider several criteria when deciding what treatment is best for them.
  • Cost. All treatment options have a related cost. A factor that are often overlooked when evaluating treatment cost is product lifespan and the replacement cost if a contact lens or eyeglass lens is damaged or lost. Frequency of handling and maintenance factor into both product lifespan and potential for damage/loss.
  • Convenience. Contact lenses require special handling and care. To prevent bacterial eye infections, patients must observe basic hygiene when caring for their contact lenses. In most instances, this requires special care and assistance from the patient's parents.
  • Logistics. Children are rarely in the care of their parents 24/7. The ability of caregivers to insert, remove, and care for contact lenses should also be considered when selection a myopia treatment.
  • Consistency. While an effective myopia treatment option, orthokeratology contact lenses are known to produce varying results.
  • Efficacy and Effectiveness. The ability of the treatment to correct and slow myopia progression, and the amount myopia progression is slowed.
  • Risk. A treatment option may present a direct or indirect health risk. For example, improper contact lens wear or care can result bacterial infection, which can then lead to permanent vision loss.

Myopia Management Eyeglass Lenses - A Convenient and Low-Risk Treatment

When factoring for economics, ease of use, convenience, and health risks, Myopia control eyeglass lenses are arguably the best choice for most children and parents. However, in situations where individuals are extremely myopic, have active lifestyles, and/or strongly desire the freedom of being eyewear-free during their waking hours, myopia management soft contact lenses or orthokeratology contact lenses may be a better option, but only if properly worn and maintained.

Diagnosing and Monitoring Myopia

Annual child eye exams are essential for the early detection, treatment, and management of myopia. Schedule an eye exam with our Edmonton optometrists today to ensure that your child can see clear into their future!

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Orthokeratology, or ortho-k, is the use of specially designed and fitted contact lenses to temporarily reshape the cornea to improve vision.

With proper care and maitenance, and a stable prescription, ortho-k contact lenses typically last 1-2 years.