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?
Special types of contact lenses have been shown to slow the progression of myopia.
Specially designed spectacle lenses are also effective at slowing progression of myopia, however these do not work as well as contact lenses, and may only be suitable for certain people with eye muscle focusing problems.
Low dose atropine eye drops have also been shown to slow progression.
At Milburn and Neill, we offer both multifocal soft contact lenses and orthokeratology lenses as forms of myopia control. Both of these lenses affect myopia progression by focusing peripheral vision independently of central vision.
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.