Myopia, or nearsightedness, occurs when our eyeballs grow too quickly for an extended period of time during childhood, and can continue worsening into our teens and even early adulthood.
Why does it matter? Clear vision is all about eye symmetry! If not symmetrical, the shape of our eye prevents light from focusing correctly on your retina which results in both far-away and/or nearby objects looking blurry or distorted. In fact, it is one of the most common vision problems that impacts more than 150 million Americans.
Like any health issue, it’s important to choose not only the right treatment for your personal needs but also that it’s a proven, safe treatment and not a myth! Our myopia management certified, and award-winning optometrist Dr. Shaun Pati debunks the top myths about myopia treatments.
Myth #1: Myopia Can Be Cured
Corrected, prevented, and treated yes, but not cured. Think of myopia treatments like braces from your dentist. Over time, the braces help reshape your teeth into the desired shape but if you stop using them, or use them incorrectly, it diminishes your results.
Your eye doctor can help slow progression down with various myopia treatments and this can slow your eyes from growing but we are unable to reverse previous growth. But that doesn’t mean you have to live with blurry vision or nearsightedness! See your optometrist for an eye exam and start seeing better.
Myth #2: Taking Vitamins Can Cure Myopia
Eating a balanced diet and getting regular eye exams is the best defense for ongoing eye health but for the on-the-go person who may not have the time to prioritize healthy eating, supplements can help with nutrient intake and eye disease prevention. However, there is no current vitamin that prevents or cures myopia, and all vitamins and supplements should only be taken under the advice of your healthcare professional.
Myth #3: Eye Exercises Cure Myopia
If only we could finish a few eye exercises and then be able to see far away without vision aids like glasses! While physical exercise and a good diet is important in prevention, there is no scientific evidence that eye exercises will reduce myopia.
Myth #4. Contact Lenses are Dangerous for Children
Not true! In fact, kids and teens are often the perfect candidates for myopia management with ortho-k or specialty contact lenses since treatments like LASIK or refractive surgery aren’t possible at that age. Whether your child wants or needs to be glasses-free, they can see terrific results from wearing specialty soft contact lenses or ortho-k lenses every day to prevent myopic progression and improve their vision.
Children See Fantastic Results With Ortho-K Contact Lenses
Early intervention is considered beneficial, if not essential.
Ortho-k can slow myopic progression in children by 36-56%
One of the most effective methods to slow progressive myopia in children.
Ortho-k decreases axial length elongation by approximately 50%.
Myth #5: Pressing on Your Eyes Shortens the Eyeball
Do not attempt! While myopia, or nearsightedness, and its corresponding symptoms are caused by your eye elongating, the blunt pressure of your hand can dramatically increase eye pressure which is potentially dangerous to your optic nerve!
So now that we’ve covered what not to do, what are optometrist approved myopia treatments?
Myopia Management Certified, Burnaby optometrist, Dr. Shaun Pati, has created the ultimate list of proven ways to treat nearsightedness.
3 Proven Myopia Treatments (Ways to Fix Nearsightedness) Without Using Glasses
#1 Myopia Treatment — Orthokeratology
What is orthokeratology? Orthokeratology (ortho-k) uses contact lenses that are worn at night to change the curvature or shape of the cornea — correcting how light is focused by your eye. Ortho-k lenses are specifically designed to be used at night and removed once you wake up.
As you sleep, the lenses gently reshape the eye, giving you all-day clear sight without wearing glasses or other contact lenses.
Go Glasses Free
Suitable for All Ages
Avoid Dry Eyes
Vision-clearing effects last up to 24 hours. Wear nightly for continued results.
Number of people around the globe struggling with myopia (nearsightedness).
Ortho-k has been one of the most effective forms of myopia management for over 20 years.
Is Orthokeratology Right For You? (Questionnaire)
- Do you wear glasses or contact lenses for nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism?
- Are you interested in LASIK but don’t feel ready?
- Are you unable to wear contact lenses due to allergies or other sensitivities?
- Does your work require excellent vision?
- Are you tired of getting debris stuck underneath your gas-permeable lenses?
- Do you feel contact lenses inhibit your ability to enjoy sports such as skiing, swimming, hiking, or going to the gym?
- As a parent/guardian, does your child’s eyes require a stronger eyeglass prescription every year?
- As a parent/guardian, does your child need contact lenses but has trouble wearing or caring for them?
If you answered “Yes” to any (or all) of the questions above, then ortho-k lenses may be the ideal myopia treatment for you. The lenses are easy to use and only worn while you sleep, which reduces any discomfort you may have had experienced when using conventional contact lenses.
#2 Myopia Treatment — Refractive Surgery
There are many types of refractive laser surgeries that are able to change, or re-shape your cornea in order to correct your vision.
LASIK is laser vision correction with no need for stitches or even bandages. The recovery period is quick, although you will need someone to drive you back from your appointment. You should notice an improvement in your vision within 24 to 48 hours and you generally can return to work or your usual activities within a day or two. After a 3-month stabilization period, your improved eyesight should last several years!
Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)
Did you know that 90 – 95% of people who undergo PRK achieve 20/25 vision or better without wearing glasses or contacts? As you age, you may need glasses for near activities, like reading, as it’s normal for your vision to decline over time. PRK is a laser-assisted surgery, similar to LASIK, that achieves long-term vision benefits without having the side effects of dry eyes and glare.
#3 Myopia Treatment – Intraocular Lens Implant (IOL)
Your ophthalmologist (specialized medical doctor) will place a lens implant inside your eye. The lens helps your eye focus light and images on your retina and provides 25-35% of your eye’s focusing power. After a lens implant procedure, you can typically return home in under an hour (with someone driving you home). This myopia treatment is particularly ideal for people with cataracts or corneal complications.
Myopia Treatments at Real Eyes Optometry
There are many ways to treat myopia. The best way to know which type of treatment is right for you is through a comprehensive eye exam. At Real Eyes Optometry, providing personalized and positive eye care to patients everyday is our primary focus. Schedule your appointment today and start seeing the way you want to.
Real Eyes Optometry is Myopia Certified!
Our patient-centered clinic is located inside Metrotown Mall in Burnaby. We serve patients all throughout the lower mainland and with 20+ years of experience, your eyes and visual needs are in good hands.