Myopia is a prevalent condition that can develop during childhood, affecting the quality of life of your child. 

While eyeglasses have long been the primary solution for correcting vision in myopic individuals, advancements in optometry have brought forth alternative treatments that offer promising results. 

Learn more about the treatment options available for parents seeking alternatives to traditional eyewear for children with myopia.

What is myopia in children?

Myopia, commonly known as nearsightedness, is a refractive error of the eye that causes distant objects to appear blurred while close objects can be seen clearly. 

In children, myopia occurs when the eyeball grows too long, or the cornea is too steep, causing light rays to focus in front of the retina instead of directly on it. This leads to blurred distance vision and can affect a child’s ability to see clearly in school, during sports, or other activities.

Myopia usually develops during childhood and tends to progress until the late teenage years, when eye growth stabilizes. Children with myopia may experience symptoms such as squinting, headaches, eye strain, or difficulty seeing distant objects, particularly when driving or watching television.

What are the best alternatives to traditional eyeglasses for children with myopia?

While glasses provide clear vision, this traditional solution does not address the underlying progression of myopia. Furthermore, myopia tends to worsen over time, leading to increasingly stronger prescriptions and potentially higher risks of associated eye conditions. 

Fortunately, there are plenty of alternatives that have the potential to slow down or even halt the progression of myopia in children, reducing the need for stronger prescriptions and lowering the risk of future eye health complications.

  1. Atropine eye drops

What it is: Atropine eye drops have emerged as a potential game-changer in managing childhood myopia. These eye drops work by dilating the pupil and temporarily paralyzing the eye’s focusing muscles, thus reducing the eye’s ability to accommodate and potentially slowing down myopia progression.

Benefits: One of the primary advantages of atropine eye drops is their ease of use. Administering the drops typically involves a simple daily application, making them convenient for parents and children. 

Additionally, low-concentration atropine drops are found to be effective in controlling myopia progression while minimizing adverse side effects such as light sensitivity and near-vision blur.

  1. MiSight lenses

What it is: MiSight contact lenses represent a groundbreaking advancement in myopia control. They are the only FDA-approved soft contact lenses designed to slow myopia progression in children. 

These lenses utilize a dual-focus design, with the central portion of the lens correcting refractive error while simultaneously providing peripheral defocus to reduce the stimulus for myopia progression. 

MiSight lenses aim to tackle the underlying mechanisms driving myopia development by addressing both central and peripheral vision,

Benefits: MiSight lenses offer parents a proactive approach to managing their child’s myopia, potentially reducing the risk of associated complications such as retinal detachment and myopic maculopathy.

Furthermore, these lenses have been shown to be safe and well-tolerated by children as young as eight years old.

Learn more about how MiSight lenses can benefit your child by consulting our pediatric eye doctor.

  1. Multifocal contact lenses

What it is: Multifocal contact lenses represent another alternative to traditional eyeglasses for children with myopia. These lenses incorporate multiple prescriptions within a single lens, allowing for clear vision at varying distances.

Benefits: One key advantage of multifocal contact lenses is their ability to address both myopia and nearsightedness simultaneously. They are found to effectively slow the progression of myopia in children, making them a viable option for parents seeking to manage their child’s condition. 

Additionally, multifocal lenses offer the added convenience and freedom of vision correction without the need for cumbersome eyeglasses.

  1. Orthokeratology

What it is: Orthokeratology, commonly called ortho-k, has gained traction as a non-surgical alternative for myopia correction. 

This innovative treatment involves the nightly wear of specially designed gas-permeable contact lenses that reshape the cornea while the wearer sleeps, providing clear vision throughout the day without needing glasses or lenses.

Benefits: One of the primary benefits of ortho-k is its ability to temporarily flatten the cornea, thereby reducing the refractive error associated with myopia. These lenses can correct vision by gently reshaping the cornea while the wearer sleeps, offering clear, uninterrupted vision during waking hours.

Orthokeratology is particularly well-suited for active children or those involved in sports and other activities where glasses or traditional contact lenses may be impractical. 

Where to find the best pediatric optometrist in New Jersey?

The landscape of myopia management for children has evolved significantly, offering a range of alternatives to traditional eyeglasses. 

However, it’s crucial to get a consultation first with a pediatric optometrist or ophthalmologist at Pediatric Eye Associates to determine the appropriate treatment option for your child. 

At Pediatric Eye Associates, we take pride in being the premier provider of eye care for children. With a dedicated team of pediatric eye doctors, we strive to ensure that every child receives the highest quality of vision care in a compassionate and child-friendly environment.

We offer a comprehensive range of services to address all aspects of pediatric eye health, including: 

  • Routine eye exams
  • Glasses and contact lens fittings
  • Vision therapy
  • Surgical interventions when necessary.

Let us be your partner in nurturing bright futures through clear eyesight and optimal eye health. Contact us now to schedule a consultation.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.