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Why Is Myopia Management Important?  

April 1, 2022

Myopia, commonly known as nearsightedness, is a common eye condition that typically develops in childhood. While getting your child corrective eyewear offers a quick and effective solution, the problem doesn’t stop there. Read on as a Hackensack, NJ optometrist discusses myopia and why myopia management is important during the childhood years. 

What Causes Myopia?

Myopia affects a whopping 30 percent of the U.S. population, adults and children alike. Most people are diagnosed in childhood and live with the condition for the rest of their lives. And since children continue to grow and develop into their teenage years, their eyes also continue to grow. 

Myopia or nearsightedness makes faraway objects appear blurry. One of two reasons (or both reasons) causes nearsightedness to develop:

  • The cornea is too curved
  • The eyeball is longer than normal

Both situations interfere with how light (and images) enter the eye and land on the retina. In effect, light is misdirected, causing it to land in front of the retina instead of directly on the retina as it should. Corrective eyewear refocuses incoming light onto the retina.

However, a growing child’s eyes continue to change in shape and dimension. This means underlying conditions that cause myopia also continue to change.

Nearsightedness Can Get Worse

Throughout childhood, eyeball length continues to grow and the surface of the cornea may also undergo changes in shape. When the cause of myopia is an elongated eyeball, this problem only gets worse as your child grows. Likewise, an overly curved cornea may likely get even more curved as the eye grows. 

In both instances, nearsightedness can get worse and often does during the childhood years. When left unmanaged, myopia can get worse, and your child may also face a greater risk of developing more serious eye problems in adulthood. 

Risk Factors

While nearsightedness can get worse, not all children will be affected. Other factors can increase the likelihood that myopia will worsen, some of which include:

  • Wearing corrective eyewear all day long
  • Large amounts of time spent looking at digital devices
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Engaging in close-up tasks, such as reading and writing, for long periods

How Myopia Management Works

Myopia management encompasses a range of treatments designed to slow the progression of nearsightedness. The optometrist puts together a customized treatment plan based on information gathered from examining your child’s eyes, his or her age, and current prescription needs. 

Here are a few of the treatments commonly used in myopia management:

  • Ortho-K contact lenses
  • Multifocal lenses
  • Atropine eye drops
  • Myopia control glasses

If you have more questions or wish to schedule a consultation appointment, please feel free to call our Hackensack, NJ optometry office today. 

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