Myopia (also known as shortsightedness) is where the eyeball is too long or too powerful, resulting in blurred distance vision. Near vision is clear within a certain range.
Why do we need to control myopia?
Generally once you become myopic, it tends to worsen over time. Higher levels of myopia are associated with higher risks of eye diseases like glaucoma, retinal detachment and cataract later in life.
What causes myopia development and progression?
Genetics, each individual's characteristics, and the environment can affect myopia development and progression.
What can we do if you / your child is already myopic?
Specially designed contact lenses and spectacle lenses have been shown to slow the progression of myopia.
Low dose atropine eye drops have also been shown to slow progression. Myopia management is tailored to the individual patient.
At Milburn and Neill, we offer multiple options including low dose atropine, soft contact lenses, myopia control spectacle lenses and orthokeratology overnight lenses as forms of myopia control.
As of October 2022 we now offer the Essilor Stellest spectacle lenses incorporating the latest in Highly Aspheric Lenslet Targets H.A.L.T technology. We are also an accredited MiyoSmart spectacle lens provider for children with progressing myopia.
From February 2023 we have also invested in a Lenstar 900 Myopia biometer. Biometers accurately measure the length of your childs eye to precisely monitor the growth and help guide in the treatment options.
To find out more, come visit our Myopia Clinic or check out our blog post here.
Low Dose Atropine
Low dose atropine is a medication used to slow down the progression of myopia or nearsightedness in children and young adults. It is currently compounded into an eye drop that contains a very low concentration of atropine. Atropine is a drug that has been shown to prevent excessive eye growth (axial length).
Studies, including LAMP and LAMP 2, have shown that low dose atropine is effective in reducing the progression of myopia by up to 60%, and it is safe to use with few side effects. The treatment typically involves using the eye drops once a day before bedtime for several years. Low dose atropine is becoming an increasingly popular option for myopia control, as it provides a non-invasive and convenient solution for those concerned about the long-term effects of myopia.
Orthokeratology or Ortho-K involves wearing a rigid contact lens to alter the shape of the front surface of the eye (the cornea) to correct vision while you sleep. It is removed when you wake up. This lens needs to be specially fitted to the shape of your cornea and created for your prescription.
Ortho-K gives you clear vision during the day so you don't have to wear glasses or contact lenses. It also slows, and sometimes stops, the progression of myopia. This is done by flattening the central cornea (to give you clear vision) and steepening the mid-peripheral cornea (giving you a different peripheral focus).
Fitting Ortho-K lenses involves taking a scan of your cornea using our corneal topographer. This allows us to measure the shape of your cornea and we can use this information to create a custom rigid contact lens using special software.
Soft Contact Lenses
Soft contact lenses such as Misight 1 day and Naturalview contact lenses provide innovative optics designed to control the progression of myopia in children. These lenses use dual focus, extended depth of focus or complex virtual distance pin hole optics to create peripheral myopic defocus to slow down the elongation of the eye.
Increased elongation of the eye (axial length) results in increased myopia and future myopic complications.
Soft contact lenses can provide a safe daily option for both vision correction and myopia control.
Peripheral defocus spectacle lenses are a great option for myopia control if your child is not ready or suitable for contact lenses or orthokeratology. We currently provide both Hoya MiyoSmart and Essilor Stellest spectacle lens options. These come standard in the a polycarbonate safety material.
At Milburn and Neill Optometrists myopia clinic we can diagnose, treat and tailor an individual management plan to provide the very best myopia control treat outcomes available.