An increasing number of children suffer from myopia, a disease where a person can see items close to them clearly but those far away are hazy. In fact, studies reveal that up to one in every three children is affected by this problem. Myopia can reduce a child’s quality of life, as visual impairment can lead to low self-esteem and other issues. It's critical to correct myopia as soon as possible so a child can see clearly, and treat the underlying disease so the eye does not continue to grow too long. This can be accomplished by using contact lenses or prescription eye drops. As myopia is caused by an eye that is growing too long, our range of treatment plans are individually tailored to your child and help prevent the issue from worsening. Our three types of treatments are further explained below.
The purpose of myopia management therapy is to limit the progression of childhood myopia as much as possible. The goal is not to eliminate your child’s nearsightedness so that glasses or contact lenses will not be necessary. The goal is to slow down the changes so the final adult prescription for glasses or contact lenses will be as low as possible. Our mission is to guarantee that all children have good vision so that they can have a better quality of life.
After a comprehensive exam, Dr. Shawki may recommend Atropine, a prescription eye drop to treat myopia. This drop can be formulated at different concentrations that is determined to best work for your child. Atropine has been found in several studies to reduce the progression of myopia, meaning that children who were given the medication did not become as myopic as the children without the medication.This is because many studies have shown that eye drops can significantly slow down the progression of myopia by around 50% to 60%. However, that number is relative to each individual.
While there will always be risks involved with any medical treatments, we ensure these risks are minimized by having follow-up sessions and monitoring your child’s treatment progress. Atropine is suited for children who wear glasses or contact lenses during the day. If you would prefer your child to rest their eyes during the evening or simply worry that your child may not be ready for contact lenses, our prescription eye drops are a good alternative. It is recommended for children who are showing a rapid progression of myopia.
As the name suggests, our daytime soft contact lenses are meant to be worn during the day at school and in various activities. During the evening when they’re about to head to bed, they should take off these contacts. What makes these contact lenses one-of-a-kind is their optical design, which is specially crafted to provide clear vision during the daytime, yet slow down the progression of myopia at the same time. Before prescribing these contacts, your child would undergo a consultation with Dr. Shawki. By wearing our daytime contact lenses, your child no longer has to depend on glasses to have clear vision during the daytime. We understand that at times, glasses can be an inconvenience for activities like sports and other vigorous activities. As such, our contact lenses not only allow your child to see clearly but also be free from the hassle of wearing glasses. Misight contact lenses are FDA approved, ensuring safety and effectiveness.
Ortho-K lenses are used to reshape the cornea (soft tissue) of the front of the eye and flattens it out to bring the patient’s focus point where it naturally should be for patients to see clear or be at a “0” or “plano” prescription. This is temporary and the cornea could go back to its original shape if the lenses were to be discontinued within 1-2 weeks.
The idea is similar to teeth retainers which are worn at bedtime. Ortho K lenses are only needed to be worn at bedtime for about 7-8 hours per night. Patients should be able to see close to 100% clearly after wearing the lenses for about 1-2 weeks. If patients discontinue ortho k lenses for about 2-3 days, their vision can start becoming blurry again as their cornea returns back to it’s natural shape.
Myopia management therapy is rapidly becoming a first-line treatment for child-onset myopia. The principles and strategies employed at Modern Eye Care of NJ are based on evidence-based guidelines and updated protocols. Schedule your child's myopia consultation today!