Is Your Child A Candidate For Myopia Management?
If your child is nearsighted, you know that caring for glasses or contact lenses can be challenging for them. What you may not know is that rapidly progressing myopia is more than just a hassle — today’s research has proven that it will put your child at risk of future eye disease.
Children with rapidly progressing myopia are significantly more likely to develop potentially sight-threatening eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, retinal detachment, and macular degeneration later in life.
Fortunately, Dr. Colette Whiting and Dr. Sandra Gillis-Kennedy can help slow the progression of your child’s myopia with a customized myopia management program.
What is Myopia Management?
Myopia management is an evidence-based program that can halt or slow the progression of myopia in children. While there is not yet a way to reverse the effects of myopia, there are still ways we can prevent the condition from worsening. Each myopia management treatment has varying benefits and levels of efficacy; Dr. Colette Whiting and Dr. Sandra Gillis-Kennedy can help you decide which method is suitable for your child depending on their age and maturity.
Is Myopia Management Right for My Child?
The ideal candidate for myopia management is a child or young adult with almost any degree of myopia as the treatments have a greater chance of preserving the natural, healthy shape of the eye. Although it’s best to begin myopia management as early as possible, many older children and teens can still enjoy equally great outcomes.
Some factors that would make a suitable myopia management candidate are:
- Willingness and ability to care for contact lenses
- Being at least 6 or 7 years of age
- Having a certain level of maturity and responsibility
- Increasing myopia prescription each year
In 95% of cases of childhood myopia, the condition stabilizes at around 21 years of age. Myopia management is appropriate for any myopic child or teen under the age of 21.
Here are some examples:
A 9-year-old recently diagnosed with myopia is already noticing the need to increase their eyeglass prescription. They begin myopia management to slow down or stop the worsening of their distance vision. This is a great time to start with myopia management, as it offers the best chance of preserving long-term eye health.
Myopia management is also suitable for a young teen or preteen. A 12-year-old who wants to eliminate the need for daytime glasses or contact lenses may find some forms of myopia management to be very appealing. A young teen who feels insecure about their appearance with glasses, or who finds that glasses interfere with sports and other activities, may find myopia management to be a great option.
A 16 year-old-teen with mild to moderate myopia hopes to undergo corrective surgery like LASIK in the future. If they begin myopia management at 16, they have a good chance of stabilizing their vision until they meet the age requirements for corrective surgery a few years later. In addition to decreasing their risks of future eye disease, slowing their myopia progression may increase their chance of successful corrective surgery.
We Can Help Control Your Child’s Myopia
Myopia management works best when parents wish to take a proactive role in preserving their child’s gift of sight in the long term. But some may wonder how relevant myopia management is to a child with low levels of myopia. The earlier a child receives myopia management, the easier it is to control myopia’s progression and the better the long-term results. Your eye doctor will discuss with you the most effective time to start.
Every increase in the amount of a child’s myopia will affect their future risks of eye disease. If your child has myopia, be proactive about protecting your child’s gift of sight and mitigating their probability of future eye disease.
For further information or to schedule your child’s eye exam, contact Shelburne Primary EyeCare today.Shelburne Primary EyeCare serves patients in Shelburne, Melancthon, Alliston, Collingwood, and throughout Dufferin County.