Article 39: Myopia Control Methods Part 1

Welcome to Eyecare Insights with Dr. Kyle Tate, your Jenks Eye Doctor. Today we are in the third part of our series about myopia control. If you know somebody interested in myopia control, or even someone who has a teenager with myopia, please refer them to Insight Eyecare. As your Jenks Eye Doctor we stay on the forefront of all new research that can help improve the lives of our patients. We treat patients of all ages. We can perform an eye exam for babies; a children’s eye exam, kid’s eye exam, adult eye exams, contact lens exams, and even senior eye exams. More than an eye exam shop, we offer everything from basic vision and health exams to complex medical exams, procedures, and even laser surgery at our office. Insight Eyecare is located 1 mile south of the Creek Turnpike and Highway 75 and 121st, near the Glenpool Walmart. At our clinic you’ll find a large eyeglasses boutique with over 1000 frames available to meet all glasses wants and needs. We offer everything from basic eyeglasses to high-fashion eyeglasses to extremely high quality eyeglasses in our eyeglasses shop. Our team at Insight Eyecare wants to be your Jenks eye doctor for all of your eyecare and eyewear needs.

So, we’re discussing myopia control. In the first podcast we learned that myopia is the same thing as nearsightedness. We learned that myopia progresses mainly in the teenage years or the second decade of life. We see higher rates of myopia in Asian populations, with increased time with up close activities such as screen time or reading, and we know that progressing myopia causes pathologic changes to the eye. The things we see most commonly with myopia progressing to a pathologic level are cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachment. Myopia progression can only be stopped in the second decade of life. That is when the greatest impact from these treatments will occur. It is important that we, as educated people, help protect our family and friends from the dangers of myopia progression. At Insight Eyecare we believe part of our mission of improving every life at every encounter means studying the latest research and spreading news about things that will help our patients such as myopia control.

So what is myopia control? As your Jenks eye doctor, simply put, myopia control is any type of method that slows the progression of myopia. It is important to understand that initial research 20 years or more ago did not find significant outcomes of slowing myopia progression. Who is an ideal candidate for myopia progression? The ideal candidate for myopia control with risk of myopia progression would be someone who got their nearsighted or myopic glasses earlier than average. They likely bought their first pair of glasses before 12 years old, this can be male or female, and ideally we would like to see them before driving age to discuss myopia control. One might wonder if it is too late in life to begin myopia control. Your Jenks Eye Doctor believes that in the right case where progression is happening, it is never too late for myopia control. What this means is that somebody who is in their 20s or 30s is still a candidate for myopia control if their eyes continue to get nearsighted. An instance where we would see this happening would be people who spend a large amount of time at a desk work or studying for a professional program. This is the reason why we will commonly not let someone have LASIK if they want to go into the legal field or in the medical field due to the amount of studying that those training programs in schools require.

So today we’re to discuss a little more on what methods are available for myopia control. After reviewing the latest research from 2016 and 2017 there seems to be three main myopia treatment options to help control myopia progression. Your Jenks eye doctor at Insight Eyecare recommends either/or a combination of the following three things: low-dose atropine eyedrops, multifocal distance center daily replacement soft contacts, and corneal reshaping therapy contacts. As your Jenks eye Dr. this does not necessarily mean these are in order of what is the best outcome, but since we started discussing low-dose atropine first, let’s continue that discussion in short detail here. We will discuss this further in another article. When you come to us, your Jenks eye doctor at Insight Eyecare, we can prescribe a very low dose of a medication called atropine. This drop is known as a dilating drop that lasts for 1 to 2 weeks. At a very low dose this drop can be used to relax the focus of the eye. In another article we are going to explain what peripheral border is, and the effects on the retina and the eye lengthening for myopia progression. Simply put today, this drop helps the peripheral retina be slightly blurred without affecting your central vision. The drop can be used once a day in conjunction with glasses or before contact lenses are put in. It has very low side effects if properly used, although if used too many times a day, there can be a numerous list of side effects from this potentially strong medication. To help everybody understand how safe it is to use this drop to dilate someone’s eyes around surgery, it is used around 1% concentration. Atropine used for myopia control has to be specially made at a pharmacy because this low concentration of .01% is not available commercially. Now these compounding pharmacies are trained and certified how to make a safe eyedrop. Mathematically it would take 100 drops of the low-dose atropine for myopia control to equal one drop of the full strength 1% used for dilation. When costs are a concern for myopia control it’s important to consider upfront costs versus costs over time. As your Jenks Eye Doctor those are one of the things that we have to think about and discuss with you to custom tailor your myopia control plan. Atropine for myopia control is a very cost-effective form of myopia control. When reviewing studies, your Jenks eye doctor has found that these drops are effective in reducing the rate of myopia progression 40 to 80% of the time.

Here’s a quick review of what we’ve learned today. Ideally we would like to see someone around 10 to 14 years old who got their glasses prescription for myopia earlier than average: around 6 to 8 years old. Ideally they would meet with us at Insight Eyecare to develop a plan that could involve the use of taking an atropine .01% drop every morning to prevent their eyes from getting more nearsighted and to prevent problems down the road. This can mean not just that the eyes are healthier and have less risk for serious problems, but also the person’s nearsightedness might just be an inconvenience instead of a disability without their glasses on. Our mission at Insight Eyecare is to improve every life at every encounter. Your Jenks eye doctor at Insight Eyecare wants you to know these things are available to you and anybody that you know. Remember we have an amazing staff, a state-of-the-art facility, advanced diagnostic equipment, and an amazing eyeglasses boutique to meet your needs as a patient. As your Jenks eye doctor we treat all types of diseases like myopia, hyperopia, glaucoma, cataracts, dry eyes, and many more. Please consider us when your family or friends are getting more nearsighted. Armed with this new information you can now help us improve their lives. God bless you guys and have a great day!

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