Skip to main content
Book Online

mm_faq

Woman kissing young girl in Middle Village | Dry Eye And Myopia Management at 20/20 Eye Care

Home »

Dry Eye And Myopia Management

All parents considering myopia management for their children want to know that the treatments are safe, comfortable and effective. One particular concern is whether myopia treatments could affect their child’s dry eye syndrome.

Can a child with dry eye symptoms still be a candidate for each of the myopia management treatments? Is there a chance the myopia treatments could worsen a child’s dry eye symptoms? Or perhaps improve them?

There is much to consider, and your optometrist will carefully treat each case on an individual basis.

Below, we’ll explain what dry eye syndrome (DES) is and how it may relate to myopia management.

A Brief Overview of Dry Eye Syndrome

DES is a chronic lack of ocular hydration due to insufficient tears or an imbalance in the components that make up the tears (oil, mucus and water).

Certain health conditions, medications, weather conditions, aging, allergies, nutritional deficiencies, and excessive screen time can all contribute to the onset and severity of DES.

Common signs and symptoms of DES include:

  • Red, irritated eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Stinging or burning eyes
  • Grittiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Stringy mucus around the eyes
  • Frequent eye rubbing

DES can be successfully treated in a number of ways, including artificial tears, medicated eye drops, nutritional supplements and by implementing proper eyelid hygiene, like cleaning the eyelids and regions adjacent to the eyes daily. Your eye doctor will prescribe the treatment that targets the underlying cause of your condition.

What Puts Children and Teens at Risk of Developing DES?

Although children have a lower risk of developing DES than adults, they can still suffer from its painful and irritating symptoms. Some experts believe that dry eye syndrome is underdiagnosed in children because they may lack the verbal skills to describe their discomfort.

Risk factors for a child/adolescent developing DES are:

  • Allergies
  • Certain medications (acne medication, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, antihistamines)
  • Certain health conditions (blepharitis, herpes simplex viruses, evaporative eye disease, certain neurological disorders, diabetes, inflammatory conditions)
  • Excessive screen time (people blink less when staring at a screen
  • Nutritional deficiencies

If any of the above factors relate to your child, discuss them with your child’s optometrist before deciding on a particular myopia management treatment.

Myopia Management Options and DES

Multifocal Contact Lenses

These lenses are worn during the day and are usually discarded every night. Children naturally produce more oil in their tears and have a higher tear volume, making contact lenses more comfortable to wear and reducing the risk of DES symptoms.

Some research suggests that children with ocular allergies can actually benefit from wearing contact lenses, as the lens creates a barrier between the eye’s surface and airborne allergens.

However, children with seasonal allergies who regularly take antihistamines may be prone to DES due to the anticholinergic effects of the medicine that inhibit lacrimal gland functioning and reduce the child’s tear volume.

If children experience mild discomfort with daytime lens wear, they may find relief using lubricating eye drops.

Ortho-K Lenses

Ortho-k lenses (also called ‘orthokeratology’), are rigid gas-permeable contact lenses that are worn overnight during sleep. These lenses gently and safely change the shape of the cornea, so children don’t need to wear glasses or contacts during the day. They are removed in the morning and leave the child with crisp and clear vision.

Ortho-k is a fine choice for children who can’t wear daytime lenses due to allergies, DES, or other eye irritations. They are also great for children and teens who participate in sports and other physical activities since no daytime eyewear is required.

Atropine Eye Drops

These medicated eye drops are placed into the eyes once per day and have been shown to effectively slow childhood myopia progression.

Atropine eye drops usually contain preservatives that can cause eye irritation and dryness. However, the low-dose atropine drops prescribed to children have no clinically significant effect on the eyes with regards to DES.

If Your Child Has Myopia, We Can Help!

The bottom line is that even a child with sensitive eyes or DES can still benefit from myopia management treatments. Your optometrist will guide you on what options are the safest, most comfortable and convenient for you and your child.

If your child has myopia or is at risk of developing it, don’t wait until it’s too late. Halt their myopia now, and they’ll thank you later.

To schedule your child’s myopia consultation, call 20/20 Eye Care today!

Book Online
Call Us! Ask to Speak with Dr Melania About Myopia Control
Learn More About Myopia Management
childhood myopia Thumbnail.jpg

How Is Myopia Dangerous? Isn’t It Just Inconvenient?

Brothers Crawling in Tunnel thumbnail.jpg

Why Should You Care About Myopia?

Read Our Latest Posts
Boy Trouble Learning.jpg

Why Bother With Myopia Control?

4 Common Myopia Myths Debunked 640.jpg

4 Common Myopia Myths Debunked

kid with tablet 640.jpg

Does The Use of Digital Devices Cause Myopia In Children?

child playing snow 640.jpg

Protect Your Children’s Vision By Getting Them To Play Outside This Winter!

Brothers Crawling in Tunnel 1280×480

Home »

Why You Should Care About Myopia

Myopia is one of the most widespread vision problems in the world today, and the numbers are growing. Particularly troubling is that it is being diagnosed earlier in school children and rising in severity.

If you have a young child, we recommend regular eye exams because the condition is known to progress rapidly throughout childhood, causing significant risk to your child’s eye health in the long term.

Visit Melania Napolitano, O.D. at 20/20 Eye Care to learn more about myopia and myopia management.

1 in 3 Children Have Myopia

Statistics show an alarming increase in myopia (nearsightedness) among children—25% in the past 40 years alone. Today, myopia affects 40% of the population, and by the year 2050, half of the world’s population is expected to be myopic.

More than 50% of parents are unaware that myopia increases the risk of developing severe eye diseases such as glaucoma or retinal detachment later in life.

Many researchers believe that increased use of digital devices and reduced time spent outdoors are among the causes.

Myopia Increases the Risk of Severe Eye Diseases

Myopia progresses rapidly during childhood. As the level of myopia increases, so does the risk of sight-threatening retinal damage, such as glaucoma, cataract, retinal detachment and myopic macular degeneration (maculopathy). Early treatment through myopia management can slow down or even stop the progression.

The level of myopia a child has is directly correlated to their risk of eye disease — the higher the myopia, the greater the risk.

Higher Risks With High Myopia

Glaucoma. Research shows that people with moderate or high myopia have a 50% higher risk of developing glaucoma.

Cataract. The rate of cataract surgery in people with high myopia is 17% higher than in patients with moderate myopia.

Retinal Detachment. A child between -0.75D and -3.00 is more than 3 times more likely to develop retinal detachment in the future. That number triples for individuals with high myopia (-5.00 and above).

The risk of myopic macula disease is also influenced by the level of a child’s nearsightedness. Children under -5.00 have just a 0.42% of developing this serious eye condition, but anything above -5.00 the risk level leaps to 25.3%.

Is Your Child at Risk?

Fill out our Myopia Assessment Quiz to find out.

What Is Myopia?

Myopia, also known as nearsightedness or shortsightedness, causes blurry distance vision, while near vision remains clear. This refractive error is often hereditary and develops in early childhood. If left untreated, it progresses rapidly until early adulthood. High levels of myopia can lead to serious vision impairment. It is the most common vision problem in the world today.

What Does a Myopic Eye Look Like?

In a healthy eye, light passes through the eye lens and comes into focus directly on the retina, located at the back of the eye. In a myopic eye, the eyeball is too long, and therefore the image comes into focus in front of the retina.

myopia diagram

Should Your Child Wear Prescription Glasses?

Glasses enable your child to see clearly. However, they do not reduce peripheral hyperopia, which is considered to be the main reason why the eyeball grows longer and myopia progresses.

By the time your child reaches adulthood, he or she may be at risk of severe eye disease due to the high level of myopia. Myopia management, on the other hand, slows down or even stops the progression. The prescription is kept low, and so is the risk.

Facts About Myopia Management

There is published evidence that

  • Low-dose atropine has been effective in reducing the progression of myopia.
  • Special contact lenses that reduce peripheral hyperopia can slow the progression of myopia.
  • Orthokeratology treatment can decelerate myopia progression.

Myopia Management in New York for Your Child

Contact 20/20 Eye Care if the assessment above has shown that your child is at risk of developing myopia, or you feel the need for reassurance regarding your child’s vision. We will conduct an eye exam and offer methods of myopia management, proven to slow down myopia progression effectively.

Resources:

Book Online
Call Us! Ask to Speak with Dr Melania About Myopia Control
Learn More About Myopia Management
Dry Eye And Myopia Management Thumbnail.jpg

Is Myopia Management Safe For Dry Eyes?

childhood myopia Thumbnail.jpg

How Is Myopia Dangerous? Isn’t It Just Inconvenient?

Read Our Latest Posts
Boy Trouble Learning.jpg

Why Bother With Myopia Control?

4 Common Myopia Myths Debunked 640.jpg

4 Common Myopia Myths Debunked

kid with tablet 640.jpg

Does The Use of Digital Devices Cause Myopia In Children?

child playing snow 640.jpg

Protect Your Children’s Vision By Getting Them To Play Outside This Winter!

childhood myopia

Home »

Is Childhood Myopia (Nearsightedness) Dangerous?

Myopia (nearsightedness) progression in children is more than just a rapidly changing prescription. Medical research now indicates that myopia progression in children can actually be dangerous. As a child quickly develops and myopia rapidly progresses, the child is at risk of developing serious sight-threatening eye diseases later in life. Namely, retinal detachment, macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts. The faster the progression, and the younger the child, the greater the risk.

To thwart any of these sight-robbing conditions, 20/20 Eye Care offers evidence-based treatment to prevent the onset or reduce the progression of myopia in our pediatric patients. Our staff works closely with each family and provides personalized treatment programs based on the child’s unique needs.

What Is the Connection Between Myopia and Eye Disease?

Cataracts and Myopia

A child with medium to high myopia is 5 times more likely to develop cataracts in his or her lifetime. Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye clouds rendering it difficult or even impossible to see.

Glaucoma and Myopia

Rates of glaucoma increase dramatically in children with myopia. A child with medium to high myopia is 5 times more likely to develop glaucoma — the leading cause of blindness in the United States and Canada. This condition develops when ocular fluid build-up places pressure on the eye, causing irreversible damage to the optic nerve.

Retinal Detachment

Recent research has shown that medium-to-high myopia significantly increases the risk of developing retinal detachment. Retinal detachment is a condition where the retina detaches from the layers beneath it, causing field vision loss, light flashes, floaters and in severe cases — total loss of sight. A child with mild myopia (-4D to -7D) is 21 times more likely to develop retinal detachment, whereas a child with high myopia (-7D and higher) is 44 times more likely to develop this serious condition.

Myopic Macular Degeneration

Myopia is caused by the elongation of the eyeball. When myopia is extremely high, it can cause the retina to stretch, leading tears to form in the macula and bleeding to occur in the areas beneath the retina. This can result in irreversible vision loss and even blindness.

What To Do About Myopia Progression?

boy riding bicycleOne of the best things you can do to slow your child’s myopia progression is to ensure that he or she undergo routine annual eye exams. It’s important that Melania Napolitano, O.D. monitor the rate at which the myopia is progressing. If your child’s vision is rapidly deteriorating, we can offer various myopia management measures to slow the progression and enable your child to experience a more mild form of myopia than he or she would have otherwise had without treatment.

What is Myopia Management?

Myopia management refers to different techniques to slow the progression of myopia in children and teens. These treatment options reduce the stress and fatigue which are ultimately responsible for deforming the cornea and therefore causing myopia. This, in turn, slows or even stops the development and progression of myopia. 20/20 Eye Care currently offers several different customized and evidence-based treatment options for effective myopia management.

What Are the Treatment Options for Myopia?

Certain treatments in the form of eye drops, contact lenses or glasses, can help slow down a child’s myopia vision deterioration.

The treatments offered at our practice include:

  • Atropine eye drops
  • Orthokeratology (“ortho-k”)
  • Multifocal contact lenses
  • Multifocal glasses

Over a period of 6-12 months, patients are carefully monitored and reviewed to assess the efficacy of the chosen treatment modality.

For more information, or to learn how to get your child started with myopia management, get in touch with 20/20 Eye Care, and our staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Book Online
Call Us! Ask to Speak with Dr Melania About Myopia Control
Learn More About Myopia Management
Dry Eye And Myopia Management Thumbnail.jpg

Is Myopia Management Safe For Dry Eyes?

Brothers Crawling in Tunnel thumbnail.jpg

Why Should You Care About Myopia?

Read Our Latest Posts
Boy Trouble Learning.jpg

Why Bother With Myopia Control?

4 Common Myopia Myths Debunked 640.jpg

4 Common Myopia Myths Debunked

kid with tablet 640.jpg

Does The Use of Digital Devices Cause Myopia In Children?

child playing snow 640.jpg

Protect Your Children’s Vision By Getting Them To Play Outside This Winter!

Call Our Offices

Book Online