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Myopia Control Options

Myopia control is a group of methods optometrists can use to try and slow the progression of childhood myopia. These approaches aim to manage how rapidly myopia develops. Remember that myopia control doesn’t reverse existing myopia, but aims to prevent it from worsening. Regular eye exams and discussions with an eye care professional are essential for managing myopia in children.

 

 Here are some common methods used for myopia control:

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Low-dose Atropine Eye Drops

Atropine eye drops, when given in small amounts at low concentration (typically diluted in a compounding pharmacy) may slow the progression of myopia. The exact mechanism isn’t fully understood, but it’s believed that these drops help prevent excessive elongation of the eye, which contributes to myopia. 

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Peripheral Defocus Contact Lenses

These special contact lenses are worn by children aged 6 to 12 years with myopia. The lens design resembles a dartboard, with concentric circles. The central area corrects blurry distance vision, while the outer portions intentionally blur peripheral (side) vision. Blurring side vision is thought to slow eye growth and limit myopia progression.

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Myopia Control Lenses

Myopia control spectacle lenses use lenslets, a honeycomb-shaped segment treatment area (‘defocus zone’) to slow down myopia progression, and a clear zone (‘focus zone’) with you child’s prescription. The focus zone provides clear vision and the defocus zone manages myopia at the same time.

Orthokeratology (Ortho-K)

Ortho-K lenses are worn overnight to reshape the cornea, correcting blurry distance vision during the day. The flattened cornea ensures that light focuses precisely on the retina, making distant images clearer while intentionally blurring the peripheral (side) vision thought to slow eye growth and limit myopia progression.

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Habit Changes

Encouraging outdoor time and reducing screen time may help lower the risk of myopia. Research suggests that spending more time indoors doing near-focused activities (like computer work, video games, and reading) is associated with higher myopia rates. 

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