Myopia is also known as nearsightedness, and it is a common refractive error that makes it difficult to see objects in the distance. Fortunately, this condition can be managed by our team here at Lamorinda Optometry with Myopia Control, which is one of the most exciting new technologies on the market.
What Causes Myopia?
Myopia occurs due to the continued elongation of the eye. As the eye grows longer from front to back, the eye becomes more out of focus at distance. There are a couple of factors that can increase your risk of developing myopia.
- Genetics: Myopia tends to run in families. If one of your parents is nearsighted, there is a chance that you will be as well. If both of your parents are nearsighted, your risk increases significantly.
- Spending too much time indoors: Studies have shown that people who spend little time outdoors have a higher risk of having myopia than those who go outdoors often.
What Are the Symptoms Of Myopia?
The most common symptom of myopia is blurry distance vision. Other symptoms include:
- Needing to squint to see objects in the distance
- Needing to sit closer to the TV or in the classroom
- Being unaware of objects in the distance
- Excessive blinking
How does Myopia Control work?
Myopia Control works by creating a type of dual type of optical focus on the retina. Part of the light being focused on the retina is in focus, allowing you to see clearly. At the same time, a second type of “out of focus light” is being created that creates an inhibitory effect of the eye growing longer. We are essentially using a multifocal contact lens that has a unique design. The cool part is the “out of focus light” does not create blurred vision, so we get the benefits of the clear vision from the optically correct part of the lens, but the myopia control effect from the “out of focus” part of the lens.
The first option is soft, daily disposable multifocal contact lenses that are safe, easy, and comfortable, and provide all of the vision benefits of normal contact lens wear, all while preventing the eye from getting as nearsighted as it might. The second option is hard contact lenses worn over night to reshape the front surface of the eye to allow for clear vision without glasses or contacts throughout the day.
This sounds crazy, does it really work?
Yes! The MiSight Myopia Control program from Coopervision is FDA approved for Myopia Control. This soft contact lens has had to undergo rigorous and extensive testing to prove that this actually works and is safe and effective. It is currently the only FDA approved option for Myopia Control. The studies have been ongoing for almost 7 years at this point and have shown a myopia control effect of ~50%. Ortho-keratology hard contact lenses have been FDA approved for overnight wear, and while they have yet to be approved specifically for Myopia Control, studies have shown approximately equal efficacy of reducing myopia progression by ~50%.