Myopia Awareness Week: Can Myopia Be Treated or Reversible?

When a child is diagnosed with nearsightedness (nearsightedness), the first and foremost concern of parents is whether it can be cured or reversed. Are parents still worried that their children will have to wear glasses for the rest of their lives? to understand the answer to this question We need to know the reasons. of myopia

What is myopia?

Nearsightedness, or nearsightedness, is a common eye problem that requires children to wear glasses with negative power. There are three main types of myopia.

1. Axial myopia: This refers to a condition in which the size of the eyeball increases and becomes more normal as the child ages. This is the most common type of myopia.

2. Corneal myopia: in this type of myopia Most of the front part of the eye (cornea) becomes steeper due to pathologies such as keratoconus or keratoglobus. Often this type of myopia is associated with high astigmatism. (cylindrical power) due to the change in corneal shape as well

3. Lentincular myopia: Here the lens of the eye has an irregular shape or position. in all three types of myopia The result is a light ray focused on a plane which is in front of the retina. causing blurry vision Mild myopia only affects distance vision. However, with severe myopia Vision is affected at all viewing distances.

Also read: Myopia can increase your risk of developing cataract complications.

eye problems
Myopia Awareness Week is held in May each year. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

myopia treatment

Million dollar question? Can myopia be treated or reversed? It also depends on the type of nearsightedness you have.

Corneal type myopia due to keratoconus There are topical treatments that strengthen the corneal collagen to prevent progression of the corneal precipitates. In advanced stages, a corneal transplant may be required. Myopia in such cases may decrease after treatment. But patients still need glasses or contact lenses to see clearly.

Myopia near the lens can be treated by lens replacement surgery. by replacing irregular lenses with normal-shaped lenses Myopia will decrease after surgery. But the patient must wear glasses for close focus in reading.

Axial myopia is increasing at an alarming rate worldwide. The reason for the booming myopia in recent years is lifestyle changes. This includes being too close to work and lacking outdoor exposure. Especially during the COVID-19 restrictions. Because the cause of this type of myopia is the elongation of the eyeball. We understand that the eyeball cannot be reduced by any medication or surgery. Therefore, once myopia has occurred, it cannot be reversed.

In fact, axial myopia tends to develop with age. The scary part of eye dilatation is that in severe myopia (eyeball size > 26 mm), the risk of retinal complications of myopia such as retinal detachment and retinal degeneration. The optic nerve is greatly increased, so the treatment of myopia focuses on prevention.
progressive elongation of the eyeball

eye drops for myopia
Eye drops can provide temporary relief for people with nearsightedness. Image Courtesy: Adobe Stock

progression of myopia

The progression rate varies with different populations. And it can be seen that it is more in Asian countries as compared to the western world. The various risk factors for the progression of myopia are:

* The presence of parental myopia. (when parents are short-sighted too)
* Higher degree of myopia at onset
* Younger age at onset
* Too close to work

How to reduce the risk of myopia?

Short-sighted children should be encouraged to avoid long periods of close-up work, such as reading storybooks. using digital devices or drawing and coloring

What is recommended is work close to the body, totaling 4-5 hours, including work related to the school. Increased outdoor activities will allow them to engage in alternative entertainment sources and to provide protection to natural sunlight. They should develop good reading habits, such as reading in an upright position and well-lit. In addition, reading at night should be avoided.

Although the lifestyle modifications mentioned above are important. But it may not be enough to slow the progression of myopia in many children. Follow these tips to improve your child’s vision.

Reduce screen time for kids
Make sure your child’s screen time is limited! Image courtesy; shutter

Tips to slow down myopia

Certain pharmacological and visual methods can slow the progression of myopia. This includes some eye drops. as well as myopia control glasses and contact lenses in particular

Your child’s ophthalmologist will be able to recommend the most suitable one. Different methods may be required. common in children with very high rates of progression

Glasses can be removed with refractive surgery, such as LASIK (laser in situ). keratomileusis), ICL (implantable contact lens) or CLE (clear lens extraction). These surgeries can only be performed if eyeball growth has stopped and eye power has stabilized. This usually occurs after the age of 18-20. Before that, it is important to control the elongation of the eyeball through various methods. mentioned above to reduce the risk of eye-damaging complications of myopia

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