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Home » Myopia Management » How Is Myopia Dangerous? Isn’t It Just Inconvenient?

childhood myopia

Is Childhood Myopia (Nearsightedness) Dangerous?

Myopia (nearsightedness) progression in children is more than just a rapidly changing prescription. Medical research now indicates that myopia progression in children can actually be dangerous. As a child quickly develops and myopia rapidly progresses, the child is at risk of developing dangerous eye diseases later in life. Namely, retinal detachment, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts. The faster the progression, and the younger the child, the greater the risk.

To thwart any of these sight-robbing conditions, The Myopia Management Center at EyeCare Associates offers evidence-based treatment to prevent the onset or reduce the progression of myopia in our pediatric patients. Our staff works closely with each family and provides personalized treatment programs based on the child’s unique needs.

What Is the Connection Between Myopia and Eye Disease?

Cataracts and Myopia

A child with medium to high myopia is 5 times more likely to develop cataracts in his or her lifetime. Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye clouds rendering it difficult or even impossible to see.

Glaucoma and Myopia

Rates of glaucoma increase dramatically in children with myopia. A child with medium to high myopia is 5 times more likely to develop glaucoma — the leading cause of blindness in the United States and Canada. This condition develops when ocular fluid build-up places pressure on the eye, causing irreversible damage to the optic nerve.

Retinal Detachment

Recent research has shown that medium-to-high myopia significantly increases the risk of developing retinal detachment. Retinal detachment is a condition where the retina detaches from the layers beneath it, causing field vision loss, light flashes, floaters, and in severe cases — total loss of sight. A child with mild myopia (-4D to -7D) is 21 times more likely to develop retinal detachment, whereas a child with high myopia (-7D and higher) is 44 times more likely to develop this serious condition.

Myopic Macular Degeneration

Myopia is caused by the elongation of the eyeball. When myopia is extremely high, it can cause the retina to stretch, leading tears to form in the macula and bleeding to occur in the areas beneath the retina. This can result in irreversible vision loss and even blindness.

What To Do About Myopia Progression?

boy riding bicycleOne of the best things you can do to slow your child’s myopia progression is to ensure that he or she undergo routine annual eye exams. It’s important that Dr. Randy Schulman, Dr. Stephen Carr, Dr. Narvan Bennett, Dr. Evan Tirado, Dr. Steven Shaby, Dr. Jason Grygier, Dr. Caitlin Condron and Dr. Sonia Singh monitor the rate at which the myopia is progressing. If your child’s vision is rapidly deteriorating, we can offer various myopia management measures to slow the progression and enable your child to experience a more mild form of myopia than he or she would have otherwise had without treatment.

What is Myopia Management?

Myopia management refers to different techniques to slow the progression of myopia in children and teens. These treatment options reduce the stress and fatigue which are ultimately responsible for deforming the cornea and therefore causing myopia. This, in turn, slows or even stops the development and progression of myopia. The Myopia Management Center at EyeCare Associates currently offers several different customized and evidence-based treatment options for effective myopia management.

What Are the Treatment Options for Myopia?

Certain treatments in the form of eye drops, contact lenses or glasses, can help slow down a child’s myopia vision deterioration.

The treatments offered at our practice include:

  • Atropine eye drops
  • Orthokeratology (“ortho-k”)
  • Multifocal contact lenses
  • Multifocal glasses

Over a period of 6-12 months, patients are carefully monitored and reviewed to assess the efficacy of the chosen treatment modality.

For more information, or to learn how to get your child started with myopia management, get in touch with The Myopia Management Center at EyeCare Associates, and our staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

The Myopia Management Center at EyeCare Associates serves patients in Trumbull, Southport, Norwalk, and Stamford, and throughout Connecticut.

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Dear Valued Patient,

With all the news and information coming out about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), we are taking necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of you as our patient, our staff, and our community. In addition, we are continuously checking for updates from both the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Optometric Association (AOA) on guidelines as to what, we as your health care provider must do and be aware of. All of our offices are diligently practicing proper hygiene through handwashing by both the optometrists and staff, and the disinfecting of all of our equipment and surfaces in the waiting room, pre-testing, optical, and exam rooms.

In addition, we are advising any of our patients with flu-like symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath to stay home, as well as those who have traveled to any country on the CDC advisory list in the last 14 days. For those who are not experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, we advise taking similar precautionary measures such as washing your hands often and disinfecting and cleaning any frequently touched surfaces.

If you are considering changing or cancelling an upcoming appointment please call one of our offices and discuss options with a friendly staff member. Your health and safety is a priority to us, so any same day cancellations due to illness will not be subjected to a $50 cancellation fee due to the circumstances. Otherwise, we look forward to your visit and will hopefully see you soon! For more information on COVID-19, ways to stay healthy, and what to look out for, please visit the CDC.gov.

Thank You, Eye Care Associates, P.C.