Myopia Control: Is There a Cure for Nearsightedness?

October 31, 2021

Myopia is a refractive error, not an eye disease. This error happens when the shape of the eye elongates as you grow. It can also happen if the eye surface curves. It causes light rays to focus in front of the retina instead of directly on its surface as they should. Objects that are at a distance will then appear blurry and out of focus.

 

There is currently no cure for myopia, but there are treatments and strategies to manage it. Their success depends on whether you are an adult or a child.

 

Treatments and Strategies


 

Treatments aim at improving your vision by helping focus light on your retina. There are two broad divisions of this — prescription lenses and refractive surgery.

 

Refractive surgery is not suited for children. However, researchers have made great strides in other treatments. One of these therapies is orthokeratology. It is a form of corneal refractive therapy that can work great for children.

 

Prescription Lenses


 

These include glasses and contact lenses. They counteract the curvature of your cornea. Glasses are safe and simple to use. They sharpen your vision with no direct contact with your eyes.

 

Contact lenses can cause damage to your eyes if not fitted properly. This is because you place them directly on your eyes, possibly scratching your cornea. Your eye doctor can advise you on which contact lenses are best suited to you.

 

Refractive Surgery


 

In refractive surgery, doctors use lasers to reshape your cornea. It reduces the need for glasses and contact lenses. However, you may need to use glasses or contacts for some time during the healing period. There are different types of refractive surgery. Here are some:

 

Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK)


 

With two lasers, surgeons create a thin flap with a hinge into your cornea. They move it to the side to access the inner layers. With a laser, they then flatten its dome shape. After the procedure, they will cover the eye again with the flap. The beauty of LASIK is that recovery is rapid. It is also more comfortable than other surgeries on the cornea.

 

Laser-Assisted Subepithelial Keratectomy (LASEK)


 

Unlike in LASIK, the ultra-thin flap does not have a hinge. Surgeons then use a laser to reshape the layers. This helps flatten the curve on your cornea, after which surgeons will replace the epithelium.

 

Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)


 

Though similar to LASEK, PRK does not replace the epithelium. It grows back naturally. As it grows, it conforms to the new shape of the cornea. Contact lenses that act as a bandage are also put over the cornea.

 

Corneal Refractive Therapy


 

There are several corneal refractive therapy forms. The one that has shown the most promise is orthokeratology. Orthokeratology or ortho-k is mainly effective in children and adults with mild myopia.

 

It involves the use of rigid, gas-permeable contact lenses to reshape your cornea. You wear the lenses at night for six to eight hours and remove them in the morning. During the night, they reshape the center of your cornea. This helps correct your refractive error. For the best results, an individual should wear ortho-k lenses consistently every night.


 

For more on myopia control, contact Eye Associates of New York at our office in New York, New York. You can call us at (212) 650-4888 today to schedule an appointment.

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