Myopia Control

Myopia Control for Nearsightedness

Myopia control for nearsightedness is a critical part of eye health care, especially in children. Annual eye exams are essential to the early detection and care for nearsightedness because the consequences of high myopia are more than just thick glasses.

What causes Myopia?

With our children spending more time in front of screens and less time outdoors, myopia is fast becoming an epidemic. Myopia, or nearsightedness, occurs when the eyeball grows too long and the image no longer focuses properly on the retina. The higher the myopia, the more stretching of delicate tissues inside the eye, increasing the risk of sight threatening diseases.

Those with myopia have a higher risk of blindness or vision impairment due to retinal detachment, myopic macular degeneration (MMD) and glaucoma. In addition to increased screen time, there are a number of other risk factors associated with the progression of myopia.

What causes Myopia?

With our children spending more time in front of screens and less time outdoors, myopia is fast becoming an epidemic. Myopia, or nearsightedness, occurs when the eyeball grows too long and the image no longer focuses properly on the retina. The higher the myopia, the more stretching of delicate tissues inside the eye, increasing the risk of sight threatening diseases.

Those with myopia have a higher risk of blindness or vision impairment due to retinal detachment, myopic macular degeneration (MMD) and glaucoma. In addition to increased screen time, there are a number of other risk factors associated with the progression of myopia.

A child sits in her desk at school looking at the whiteboard

Symptoms & Signs of Myopia in Kids

Myopia symptoms in kids include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty seeing the whiteboard
  • Sitting very close to the tv or computer screen
  • May have struggle in activities requiring hand-eye coordination

Symptoms & Signs of Myopia in Kids

A child sits in her desk at school looking at the whiteboard

Myopia symptoms in kids include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty seeing the whiteboard
  • Sitting very close to the tv or computer screen
  • May have struggle in activities requiring hand-eye coordination

How to treat nearsightedness in children

Early detection of myopia in children is important to best treat nearsightedness in children. At Mission Eye Care, we are proud to be the only clinic in Alberta with 2 two optometrists residency trained in myopia control using specialty contact lenses. Our Myopia Control Academy Program will give you and your child the highest level of care. We have the latest technology required to take the baseline measurements needed to accurately monitor progression and modify treatment based on the latest evidence.

At least 1-2 hours per day of outdoor time has been shown to be correlated with later onset and reduced progression of myopia. However, if there is ANY amount of myopia prior to age 11, additional clinical myopia control strategies are strongly advised.

Myopia Treatment Options

There are four main options for myopia control, depending on the unique lifestyle and visual requirements of each individual patient:

Soft & Hybrid Multifocal Contact Lenses

Soft contact lenses worn during the day and removed at bedtime that slow down eye elongation and therefore myopia. This method is known as peripheral defocus.

A young girl wears special contacts for myopia during ballet

Soft & Hybrid Multifocal Contact Lenses

A young girl wears special contacts for myopia during ballet

Soft contact lenses worn during the day and removed at bedtime that slow down eye elongation and therefore myopia. This method is known as peripheral defocus.

A child wears orthokeratology contact lenses while he sleeps

Orthokeratology

Orthokeratology treatment involves overnight wear of rigid contact lenses that gently reshape the surface of the eye while sleeping.

This is ideal for active kids who may otherwise be limited by eyeglasses during sports and other activities.

Orthokeratology

A child wears orthokeratology contact lenses while he sleeps

Orthokeratology treatment involves overnight wear of rigid contact lenses that gently reshape the surface of the eye while sleeping.

This is ideal for active kids who may otherwise be limited by eyeglasses during sports and other activities.

Atropine Eye Drops

This treatment is recommended for children who are too young or unable to wear contact lenses and is often used in conjunction with some of the treatments above. Recent studies show that 0.01 to 0.05% atropine decreases progression of myopia by 50-87%. It appears to act by thickening the layer of the eye just under the retina called the choroid. This may increase the structural integrity of the eye and thereby reduce its elongation.

A young child with big blue eyes looks wide eyed at the camera

Atropine Eye Drops

A young child with big blue eyes looks wide eyed at the camera

This treatment is recommended for children who are too young or unable to wear contact lenses and is often used in conjunction with some of the treatments above. Recent studies show that 0.01 to 0.05% atropine decreases progression of myopia by 50-87%. It appears to act by thickening the layer of the eye just under the retina called the choroid. This may increase the structural integrity of the eye and thereby reduce its elongation.

A young girl tries on myopia control glasses

Myopia Control Eyeglass Lenses

These custom spectacle lenses use the same principle of peripheral defocus explained above. Newer designs use tiny “lenslets” embedded in the lens to create this effect and research shows they can reduce myopia progression by as much as 60%! Proper fitting of the frames and lenses is critical to success as the lenses must be properly centered for maximum effect. At Mission Eye Care, our choice of lenses is guided by the latest research. There are a few older designs on the market, but we have found the greatest success with newer designs such as the new CooperVision MiSight™, and HOYA MiyoSmart™ with more options currently in research and development.

Myopia Control Eyeglass Lenses

A young girl tries on myopia control glasses

These custom spectacle lenses use the same principle of peripheral defocus explained above. Newer designs use tiny “lenslets” embedded in the lens to create this effect and research shows they can reduce myopia progression by as much as 60%! Proper fitting of the frames and lenses is critical to success as the lenses must be properly centered for maximum effect. At Mission Eye Care, our choice of lenses is guided by the latest research. There are a few older designs on the market, but we have found the greatest success with newer designs such as the new CooperVision MiSight™, and HOYA MiyoSmart™ with more options currently in research and development.

Natural treatments for myopia

Spending at least 1-2 hours per day outside has been correlated with later onset and reduced progression of myopia. However, if there is ANY amount of myopia prior to age 11, additional clinical myopia control strategies are strongly advised.

The Myopia Control Academy – only at Mission Eye Care

The Myopia Control Academy in Calgary is only at Mission Eye Care! We will enroll your child in this structured program to best ensure their success. This includes regular office visits and measurements using specialized instruments to monitor your child’s myopia.

Your Optometrist will make recommendations depending on the baseline date obtained, genetic and lifestyle risk factors, and the goals of treatment.

You will also get an annual report card with graphs showing the results of treatment relative to what they would have been without treatment. We want you to be as pleased with the outcomes as we are!

A child receives treatment for myopia control at the Myopia Academy at Mission Eye Care in Calgary.

Myopia Risk Calculator

Click the icon above for a quick 6 question survey to assess your child’s risk of myopic progression (external link). You can bring the results to your child's exam and we would be happy to go over them with you.