Welcome To Myopia Management Centre At Spectrum Family Eyecare In Saskatoon
Your Child’s Prescription Seems To Get Worse All The Time?
It’s more than an inconvenience; it’s a serious risk to your child’s vision. If your child’s prescription for nearsightedness is getting worse all the time, it’s more than an inconvenience. Myopia can be aggressive. As incidence rates of myopia drastically rise, it’s also the case that aggressive or progressive myopia is rapidly increasing too. This situation is much worse than needing stronger and stronger corrective lenses, glasses or contacts. Myopia puts your child at risk for a wide range of serious and potentially devastating eye conditions later in life. These risks include Cataracts, Macular Degeneration, Retinal detachment and Glaucoma.
The more advanced the progression, the greater the risks associated with the Myopia. However, the research is now showing that any amount of myopia is dangerous.
At Myopia Management Centre At Spectrum Family Eyecare, we specialize in providing the greater Saskatoon area with effective, specialized treatment to control the progression of myopia. By stopping or even halting the progression of myopia, we reduce these long-term risks to best ensure that your child enjoys seeing the world with healthy eyes throughout his or her life.
Frequently Asked Questions About Myopia
Myopia, also referred to as being nearsighted, is a condition where light from objects in the distance focuses in the front of the eye instead of where it’s supposed to focus - the retina. This causes distance vision to distort and become blurry. Myopia starts in childhood and progressively deteriorates into young adulthood.
Because myopia is very often progressive, distance vision continues to get worse and worse. This means your child constantly needs an updated stronger prescription and new glasses or contacts. The progression of myopia often outpaces your child’s eye exams. Since learning is by and large visual, myopia negatively affects your child’s school performance. What’s more, the rate of progression of myopia directly correlates with the risk levels of developing vision-threatening eye diseases. Typically, myopia is broken down into these categories:
- High Myopia
- Moderate Myopia
- Low Myopia
High, moderate and low correspond to how far the myopia has progressed; in other words, how strong a prescription is needed. Therefore, the higher the rate of myopia and progression, the greater the risks to your child’s vision.
Myopic vision is caused when the eye becomes elongated and overly-curved in the front. This causes the objects we see to become blurry at a distance. In short, the signals to our eyes get distorted.
The exact cause of myopia is not entirely clear, although it seems to be a combination of genetics and environment. More and more, the evidence is pointing to two factors which seem to greatly affect incidence rates around the world: greatly reduced time outdoors and rapidly increasing time spent in front of digital devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets.
While the exact causes of Myopia are not entirely certain, what is certain is that rates of myopia are drastically on the rise throughout the world. In fact, over 10 million American children have myopia, nearly double the incidence rate of myopia as compared to only a 2 decades ago.
The incidence of myopia in children is enough for it to be considered an epidemic, with the number expected to jump 40% worldwide by 2050. Myopia is currently the 6th leading cause of blindness worldwide, with that figure expected to rise.
Corrective lenses such as regular glasses or contact lenses refocus the light to compensate for the myopia. This is what allows someone with myopia to see more clearly. However, Lenses DO NOT address the myopia itself: the elongated eyeball or overly curved front of the eye and the risks associated with it.
What many people don’t know is that myopia is dangerous. Over recent years, the research has conclusively shown that myopia significantly increases the likelihood of a number of serious conditions which can rob your child of sight as he or she ages. This includes: Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, and Retinal Detachment.
- Cataracts and Myopia A child with medium to high myopia is 5 times more likely to develop cataracts in his or her lifetime. Cataracts is a condition where the lens of the eye clouds over and makes vision difficult or even impossible.
- Glaucoma and MyopiaRates of glaucoma increase dramatically in children with myopia. A child with medium-high myopia is 3 times more likely to develop this serious condition, which occurs when fluid build up puts pressure on the eye causing irreversible damage to the optic nerve. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness.
- Retinal Detachment: Even Mild Myopia is DangerousNew research is showing that medium and high myopia significantly increases the risk of retinal detachment. A child with mild myopia, -4 to -7, is 21 times more likely to develop retinal detachment, while children with high myopia, worse than -7, are 44 times more likely to develop this serious vision condition.Retinal Detachment is a condition where the retina literally detaches from the layers beneath it. This causes lost fields of visions, flashes of light, floaters, and even total loss of your child’s eyesight.
- Myopic Macular DegenerationMyopia occurs because the eye becomes increasingly elongated. When the progression of myopia is extremely high, or, malignant, it can cause the retina to be stretched, causing tears to form in the macula and bleeding in the areas beneath the retina. This can cause irreversible vision loss and blindness. Children with -5 to -7 have a 44 times greater increased risk of developing macular degeneration. The risk rises to 126 times for children with high myopia.
Control The Progression Of Your Child’s Myopia.
Book A Myopia Control Appointment
In recent years, a number of advanced methods have been developed to control myopia. Unlike glasses or regular contact lenses, the goal of myopia control is to slow or even halt the progression of myopia entirely. At the, Myopia Management Centre At Spectrum Family Eyecare, Dr. John Skorski will begin with a full assessment of your child’s myopia. We will then recommend a personalized treatment plan to slow or even stop your child’s myopia from getting worse. This is what will minimize the risks to your child’s long-term vision.
The more advanced the myopia is, the greater the risks. Therefore, our Saskatoon Myopia Control Experts recommend starting Myopia Control as soon as myopia is detected. It’s important to halt the myopia before your child’s vision deteriorates any further. This is the only way to minimize the risks. It also has the significant benefit of keeping your child from needing stronger and stronger lenses over time.
Which Treatments Are Available For Myopia?
There are three main treatments that are used for effective Myopia Control. These are:
- Orthokeratology (Ortho-k), also known as GVSS (Gentle Vision Shaping System) and CRT
- Specialized soft multifocal contact lenses
- Atropine Therapy
Each treatment option has its advantages and disadvantages. After we assess your child’s myopia, we will talk through all the options and develop a treatment plan that works best for your family.
Ortho-K, or, orthokeratology goes by many names.
- Gentle Shaping Vision System (GVSS)
- Corneal Reshaping Therapy (CRT)
- Vision Shaping Therapy (VST)
- Corneal Molding (CM)
All of these treatment names are more or less the same thing. A rigid contact lens is custom-made for your child’s eyes by our Saskatoon Myopia Control experts. These special lenses are worn at night by your child. As your child sleeps, the lenses gently reshape the cornea of the eyes. This reshaping corrects the elongation of the eye which causes the myopia. What this means is that the wearer won’t need glasses or contact lenses during the day at all — an especially appealing option for kids who don’t want to wear glasses or young athletes. What’s more, ortho-k has been proven to be highly effective at slowing and halting the progression of myopia, so it is also protecting your child’s adult vision while freeing them from glasses in the here and now.
Ortho-k allows adults and children alike to wake up with their vision adjusted, without the need to wear glasses or contacts during the day. For children, Ortho-k has been proven effective at slowing and even halting the progression of Myopia.
A Safe Vision Correction Alternative to LASIK Surgery. Because corneal reshaping allows the wearer to see without glasses or contacts during the day, more and more adults are also being fitted for ortho-k. This could be for social or lifestyle reasons. Ortho-k is also appealing to certain professions such as:
- Construction workers
- Law Enforcement
- Long-distance drivers
Ortho-k is an effective and non-surgical alternative to LASIK, and will often work for people who, for whatever reason, don’t want or don’t qualify for LASIK surgery.
Another way myopia can be controlled is by using soft, multifocal contact lenses, which your child wears during the day. By altering the near, middle, and peripheral focus, in addition to correcting distance vision, the eyes are forced to adjust. This slows down the elongation in the eye over time and is an effective means to control myopia.
Atropine is a medicated drop, the same one used to dilate the eyes for an exam. In micro-doses (around 0.01%), atropine has been found to be highly effective at reducing myopia with no discernible side effects. Atropine Therapy is safe, and an ideal choice for children who are too young to begin ortho-k. What’s more, atropine can be effectively combined with other methods of myopia control. Newer research is even indicating success at reducing risk with pre-myopic patients.