As discussed in What is Myopia Control? blog, having moderate to high myopia is a significant financial burden, a health risk, and just plain annoying to live with. Fortunately, there are 3 treatment options that have been proven to slow down the progression of myopia.
The first step is determining if a child needs Myopia Control treatment. Myopia Control is only effective is there is progression in a patient’s nearsightedness (myopia). Many children are myopic, but show little to no progression over time. It is not necessary to treat these patients. However, the majority of children that are myopic do show a substantial year over year increase in the amount of myopia they suffer from, and these are the patients that early intervention is important for.
To be clear, Myopia Control cannot reduce or even stop the progression of myopia in children. Per the data, it can only slow down the progression of myopia, and it does so by 50%. This means that if a child was normally going to be a -6.00 without treatment by the time they reach adulthood, we would expect that patient to only reach -3.00 if treatment was started promptly. That difference would make a substantial difference in that patient’s long-term eye health and well-being.
What age should Myopia be controlled?
Age also plays a role in determining if Myopia Control Treatment would beneficial for your child. The biggest impact that we can have in slowing down the progression of myopia is when the eye length is growing the fastest, which is from birth until around age 14. Once the child gets much older than that, there is not much benefit with treatment. This is why it is really important that we determine if your child has progressive myopia as early as possible.
Once we determine that your child would benefit from Myopia Control Treatment, the next step is determining which treatment option is the most practical for both you and your child. We will discuss the pros and cons of each treatment option in the next post.