Myopia management has become increasingly sought-after in optometry clinics due to the sharp rise in this condition in recent decades.
Today, around 41.6% of Americans suffer from myopia, compared to 25% in 1971.
There are several reasons for this increase, including a mix of environmental factors and changing habits, primarily during childhood. Fortunately, this condition when diagnosed at a young age, so appropriate myopia management can be incorporated in a practice to help slow down its development.
This is why, in today’s blog post, we are analyzing myopia management options and how your practice can help.
Myopia management: the essentials
Early detection of myopia and immediate treatment are crucial. Although it can’t be reversed, it can be managed to slow its progression, preventing developing high myopia, that is, exceeding 6 diopters of spherical correction.
This is why it is important for staff at a practice to be up-to-date on how to detect as early as possible, as well as on the available treatments. It is a good idea to perform awareness campaigns so that patients know the importance of early detection and start myopia management as soon as possible.
Myopia management options
Let’s take a look at the main treatment options for myopia and analyze their pros and cons.
Low-dose atropine eye drops
Low-dose atropine (0.01% to 0.05%) is a treatment for myopia in children between 5 and 18 years old. Treatments vary, but they are usually applied in small doses for around 3 years, slowing the development of the condition.
This treatment has proven to be efficient, which makes it ideal for treating children. However, in some cases it may cause redness and itching, meaning the patient cannot continue with the process. Even though many offices utilize this approach, it does not have FDA approval.
Daily Disposable Contact lenses
Daily disposable Contact lenses for myopia control consist of two main focus areas: the center of the lens, which corrects blurred long-distance vision, and the outside, a concentric circle, that blurs the child’s peripheral vision, as evidence demonstrated that this approach slows eye growth and therefore slowing the progression of myopia.
This form of myopia management involves overnight rigid gas permeable lenses.
These lenses flatten the cornea while the child is asleep. As a result, the light that passes through the reshaped cornea during the day falls precisely on the retina, making distant images appear clearer.
This form of myopia management is only a short-term option, as Ortho-K lenses only improve vision temporarily. If the child stops wearing them, the cornea gradually returns to its original shape. However, they are an efficient way of slowing down myopia progression.
These specialty lenses are more difficult to fit compared to soft lenses, requiring more visits to the ECP office. One of the disadvantages of this form of treatment include risk of infection due to lack of hygiene and the possibility of losing the lenses.
In short, myopia can’t be reversed at an optometry practice. However, early detection and being on the leading edge of myopia management with products like atropine eye drops, contact lenses, and Ortho-K lenses will help you grow your practice thru referrals and patient retention.
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