Myopia Management

Myopia Management

Myopia, also known as Nearsightedness, is a very common issue throughout the world. Myopia prevalence in the United States and the world is increasing at an alarming rate.  Approximately 1/3 of the population of the United States has Myopia and over 90% of some East Asian countries suffer from it. We expect 50% of the world population to be Myopic by 2050.  While Myopia may seem like such a common condition that it shouldn’t be cause for concern, it is actually associated with several very serious eye conditions that can threaten one’s ability to see.

What Is Myopia

Myopia is a condition where individuals are able to see objects that are close to them but may have difficulty seeing things at a distance, such as road signs or leaves on a tree.  It is caused by the eye length from front to back (axial length) being longer than average.  Even though the eye is longer than average, the amount of retinal tissue is the same as everyone else, so that retinal tissue gets stretched as the eye grows.  This predisposes individuals to Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, and Retinal Detachment later in life.  Uncorrected Myopia has also been shown to cause issues with low self-confidence.  Our clinic measures the axial length of every child that comes in for a comprehensive eye exam.  We then compare it to a chart with normal values, just like a pediatrician measures the height and weight of a child.   When the child comes in for subsequent exams, we compare the eye length from the previous visit to see if their eyes are growing at a normal or faster rate than normal so we can intervene if necessary.  Most of the eye growth occurs between the ages of 8-12. 

Currently, there is no known cure for Myopia and recent studies suggest that the more advanced your Myopia gets, the more serious the effects can be on your retina. This has led eye professionals to look for ways to slow the progression of Myopia in children. 

What Causes Myopia

Genetics: Kids with one or two myopic parents are more likely to be myopic
Lifestyle: Spending more time on activities like using handheld devices or reading

instead of spending time outdoors increases the likelihood of becoming myopic. 

Types Of Myopia Control

A few different treatments for myopia have proven to be effective in a number of studies. These therapies and treatments slow the growth of the eye and slow the progression of a child’s prescription.

Limit screen time | Too much screen time has been linked to myopia which can affect your child’s vision now and lead to an increased risk of developing serious eye health conditions in adulthood.  Parents should control the amount of screen time that their children have per day.  Since they are staring at screens during their school day, it is especially important to monitor their screen time after school.  This can be monitored with screen time apps and parental controls.  There is no specified amount of screen time that is recommended as it varies between children, but being aware of and limiting the amount of screen time the child has will be of benefit.   Parents can also be a good example to their children by limiting their own screen time. 

Options to consider:

  • No phones in bedrooms after bedtime

  • No screens during meals

  • Plan family activities away from screens


Getting outside | Researchers are still studying why there is less myopia progression in children who get outdoors more during the day.  They think it may have to do with children looking at the distant horizon or the exposure to outdoor light, which causes their eye growth to slow.  It is recommended that children get outside at least 2 hours per day. 

Ortho-K | Ortho-K or Orthokeratology is equivalent to retainers for the eye.  Ortho-K utilizes a special rigid gas-permeable contact lens that is placed into the eyes just before a child goes to bed. This hard lens helps to gently mold the eye into the proper shape throughout the night. When they wake up in the morning and remove the lens, the eye continues to maintain that shape. This means that people who are Myopic can see clearly throughout the day, even without wearing contact lenses or glasses! The lens is uniquely designed for each patient based on a fingerprint mapping of the cornea, individual corneal size, and individual glasses prescription.  The specialty design of the lens also changes where light rays meet inside the eye to slow down its growth. 

Atropine Eye Drops | Atropine is similar to the eye drops that are used when you get your eyes dilated. For Myopia Management, the concentration is diluted from 1% to 0.025% or 0.05% and is used nightly before the child goes to sleep to minimize the effect of the dilation.  Although the specific mechanism of Atropine is still being understood, it is thought that Atropine inhibits sclera thinning or stretching and eye growth.
Dual Focus Contact lenses | These soft contact lenses are specially designed to help reduce eye growth.  The lenses are worn during the day and taken out at night just like regular soft contact lenses.  They are FDA approved for the control of Myopia and have shown great success at slowing the progression of Myopia over a three-year period when compared with individuals who wore a standard contact lenses.  They are designed similar to Ortho-K lenses and change where light rays meet inside the eye to slow down its growth. 


If you notice that your child is having a difficult time seeing objects that are far away, contact us today to schedule an appointment. Many parents notice changes in their children with their behavior or grades at school, their ability to play sports, or that they may even be pulling back from playing with friends. Treating myopia as quickly as possible can help to reduce your child’s chances of developing a serious eye condition that can threaten their ability to see the world around them. Call today and schedule an appointment to see how we can help your child.

More information and studies on Myopia Management treatment, safety, and efficacy can be provided upon request by emailing

Please watch the following video to increase your understanding of Myopia, its potential complications, and what can be done to slow its progression.