The Risks of Progressive Myopia

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the number of nearsighted Americans has nearly doubled over the last 50 years to about 41.6%. While myopia can be treated with corrective lenses or even surgery and is therefore not a major concern, what does worry many eye doctors is the risk that myopia can become worse and worse over time. This is called progressive myopia, also referred to as high myopia. At Family Vision, we can detect and treat myopia.

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What is Myopia?

Some of the symptoms of nearsightedness, or myopia, include:

  • Faraway objects look blurred or fuzzy
  • Close objects appear clear
  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain
  • Squinting

It can ultimately lead to vision-threatening eye conditions that include retinal detachment, abnormal blood vessel growth in the eyes, glaucoma, and early cataracts. At its worst, myopia can develop into degenerative myopia, a rare condition that typically begins in early childhood that damages the retina and can cause legal blindness.

If you think you or your child may have myopia, our dedicated eye care professionals at Family Vision can monitor and treat your condition so that it doesn’t become progressive. It is essential that you or your child receive regular dilated eye exams to check for myopia.

What Causes Progressive Myopia? Several factors can contribute to the development of progressive myopia, including a family history of nearsightedness, spending a lot of time indoors, and spending a lot of time doing close-up activities such as looking at computers or other digital screens. The good news is, in most cases, progressive myopia will stop getting worse between the ages of 20 and 30.

Treating Progressive Myopia If you have myopia, there are several ways our optometrists can help you slow the condition’s progression, including:

  • MiSight daily soft contact lenses: FDA approved for slowing the progression of myopia. Click here to learn more.
  • Corneal reshaping or orthokeratology: Rigid gas-permeable contact lenses that are worn while the patient sleeps to reshape the cornea. Click here to learn more.
  • Atropine eye drops: According to the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus, treatments using .01% atropine eye drops daily have proven to an effective method for slowing myopia.

Contact Our Eye Doctors at Family Vision If you or your child is nearsighted, make an appointment with our team at Family Vision today. We have clinics in Anderson, Williamston, and Clemson, SC. Call one of our locations today or you can reach us through our website using our online contact form.

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