Myopia is the medical term for nearsightedness, a refractive error which makes reading or perceiving detail close to our eyes easy, while distant objects remain blurred or indistinct.
It is caused when the eyeball is too long, hampering the lens’s ability to focus light onto the retina correctly. Contact lenses or eyeglasses do an excellent job of correcting the light and focusing it back onto the retina, but they do nothing to stop this corneal elongation from growing, and patients will require contact lenses of increasingly powerful prescriptions.
Myopia control aims to halt this growth entirely. If the eye elongation can be stopped, then nearsighted individuals could benefit from a single, unchanging prescription or perhaps laser corrective surgery.
When light passes through the eye, it is focused by the lens. Since myopic patients have an elongated eye, the light is still focused, but incorrectly. This elongation can continue to grow for an entire lifetime, eventually leading to severely limited vision.
Myopia control focuses on halting the growth of the eye and currently employs a range of methods, with ongoing research on alternatives.
Traditional contact lenses are placed onto the eye in the morning, and refocus light during the day to provide sharp distance vision. They are soft and flexible. Gas Permeable (or RGP) lenses are the opposite – these are strong lenses which are used overnight. They apply a gentle, but constant, pressure on the cornea, forcing the cornea to reshape itself slightly, such that it will focus light correctly.
For the duration of the next day, the cornea sits in that new position, working as if there was no myopia at all. This has also been shown to substantially reduce the growth rate of the eye, and could reduce this rate to zero, over time.
These are intelligently designed lenses which have a varying prescription across their surface, designed for those suffering from both myopia and presbyopia. It aims to correct both deficiencies simultaneously, and research is promising.
By diagnosing a child with myopia in its early stages, there is more scope for limiting its severity. However, young children rarely voice concerns over their vision, so it’s imperative that you take them for a pediatric eye exam every 12 months – here we can perform conclusive tests and take immediate action to improve their vision.
We are conveniently located at the corner of Peachtree Parkway and South Clement Rd, at the entrance to Creekstone Estates, in the Villages at CreekStone (near the intersection of HWY 141 and Old Alpharetta Rd).