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Beyond Glasses and Contact Lenses

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Does your child experience blurry vision when looking at far-off objects? Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a common vision condition that affects millions of children worldwide. Traditionally, glasses and contact lenses have been the primary way of correcting myopia, but recent advancements in optometry have created new ways to manage nearshightedness beyond conventional methods. These include orthokeratology, multifocal contact lenses, and low-dose atropine.

Consult the friendly team at Vision i Care to learn more about myopia management and advanced treatments for your child.


Orthokeratology, or ortho-k, is a non-surgical technique that uses specialized gas-permeable contact lenses to temporarily reshape the cornea while you sleep. These lenses gently flatten the cornea, which improves vision during the day. Ortho-k lenses are worn overnight and taken out when you wake up, allowing your child to enjoy clear vision without the need for glasses or lenses throughout the day.

Effectiveness and Evidence

Research suggests that orthokeratology can effectively slow down the progression of myopia in children and teenagers. Several studies have shown a significant reduction in axial length elongation, which is closely associated with myopia progression.

Considerations and Long-term Management:

Ortho-k lenses are generally well-tolerated, but it's important to remember that the effect is temporary and that the cornea gradually returns to its original shape over time, which is why it’s essential to wear them every night. Regular follow-ups with an optometrist are also crucial to monitor your progress and ensure your lenses fit as they should. It’s also vital that you clean your lenses and take good care of them to avoid infections.

Multifocal Contact Lenses

Multifocal contact lenses are another promising option for myopia management. These lenses have different zones, helping patients to have clear vision at short, medium, and long distances. By simultaneously focusing light on the retina for both near and distant vision, multifocal lenses can potentially reduce the progression of myopia.

Effectiveness and Evidence:

Studies have shown that multifocal contact lenses can effectively slow down myopia progression in children and adolescents. The lenses create a simultaneous myopic defocus, which is believed to slow down the eye's growth.

Considerations and Long-term Management:

Whether or not you or your child are a candidate for multifocal contact lenses depends on several factors, including your age, prescription, and personal visual needs. It's essential to work closely with an optometrist to decide if multifocals are suitable for you. Regular follow-ups with your optometrist and thorough care of your contacts are important to make sure that your lenses are in good condition, you avoid infections, and that your lenses fit correctly.

Low-Dose Atropine

Low-dose atropine eye drops have gained attention as a new intervention for myopia management. Atropine is a medication that temporarily dilates the pupil and relaxes the focusing mechanism of the eye. In low doses, it has been shown to effectively slow down myopia progression.

Effectiveness and Evidence:

Many studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of low-dose atropine in reducing the progression of myopia. It is believed that atropine may regulate your eye’s growth by influencing the signaling pathways responsible for the elongation of the eyeball. Low concentrations of atropine have shown promising results with minimal side effects.

Considerations and Long-term Management:

Low-dose atropine is normally prescribed for children and adolescents with progressive myopia. Regular eye exams are necessary to monitor the treatment's effectiveness and ensure no side effects. It's important to know that long-term use of atropine may lead to temporary near-vision blurring and increased sensitivity to light. Therefore, it is essential to work closely with your doctor to determine the appropriate amount of atropine and manage any potential side effects.

Beyond traditional glasses and contact lenses, advanced treatment options such as orthokeratology, multifocal contact lenses, and low-dose atropine offer promising new ways of managing myopia. These approaches have demonstrated effectiveness in scientific studies and are realistic alternatives for patients seeking to address myopia. Each option has its individual pros and cons, and it’s vital that you discuss these options with your optometrist. Book an appointment with Vision i Care to get started.