What is Myopia?
Myopia, or nearsightedness, is when you can see things up close but not far away. Myopia occurs when the length of the eye grows too long. When this occurs, light focuses in front of the vision cells in the eye, causing distant objects to become blurred. It is not reversible.
Treatment: Myopia can be treated with glasses, contact lenses and specialty Orthokeratology lenses. People with low forms of myopia can still see clearly at near and usually wear a part-time correction for seeing distance. Moderate forms of myopia require full-time correction.
Dr. Labiento Smith is a member of the American Academy of Orthokeratology and Myopia Control.
The American Academy of Orthokeratology and Myopia Control is a non-profit organization of practitioners and academics devoted to the science and education of orthokeratology and myopia control. For more information visit www.orthokacademy.com
Myopia is a global medical epidemic that is quickly progressing. The goal of this international organization is to educate doctors in current research and treatment options for Myopia control.
Dr. Labiento Smith treats early myopia with low-dose Atropine and Orthokeratology. These treatments for myopia control are considered an off-label use in the US. Atropine and Ortho-K are FDA approved but under a different category. All children with myopia at Sudbury Eye Care are seen bi-annually for exams to monitor progression.
Can you slow Myopia? Yes!
Current research in controlling Myopia progression…
Scientists are currently researching the ability to control the rate of myopia progression in children.
Drug Treatment: High dose Atropine has long been known to slow the rate of myopia progression but has too many side-effects for patient use. The ATOM 1 and ATOM 2 studies, Audrey Chia, FRANZCO, PhD,1,2 Qing-Shu Lu, PhD,3,4 Donald Tan, FRCS, FRC Oph, link: ATOM 2 Study examined control of myopia progression with varying dosages of Atropine eye drops.
The conclusion determined that treatment with very low dose Atropine reduces the rate of myopia progression as effectively as higher dosages with minimal side effects. This surprising study has excited the medical community. An effective drug for myopia control with low side effects can now be used by the general population.
Eyeglasses: Although scientists have been studying different kinds of optical lenses on children, there has not been a large correlation with lens design and Myopia reduction. What we do know is a child should not be undercorrected in their prescription and certain types of patients need a bifocal to reduce eye strain, therefore, reducing their Myopia progression.
Orthokeratology: Orthokeratology (Ortho-K) is another successful method of myopia control. Ortho-K is a hard lens designed to change the shape of the cornea and correct the near-sightedness while a patient sleeps. The patient then does not require glasses or contact lenses during the day.
The cornea re-shaping changes the way light focuses in the back of the eye and greatly slows Myopia progression in a large group of patients. There is no age minimum for treatment.
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