Myopia, commonly known as nearsightedness, is the inability to see clearly at a distance. If left untreated, it can lead to several complications — including retinal detachment and glaucoma which increases the risk of irreversible blindness in adults. In fact, with the prevalence of smartphones and tablets continuing to grow, myopia rates have skyrocketed across the world. Now more than ever before, it’s imperative that optometrists find new ways to combat this condition. Luckily for us, there are several effective treatments for myopia.
Here are three of my favorites:
Acuvue Abiliti 1-Day Soft Contact Lenses
One of the best ways to treat myopia is with soft contact lenses. This is because soft contacts can slow down the rate of myopia progression with little to no discomfort. In particular, 1-day soft lenses — such as Acuvue Abiliti — are an excellent option for mild to moderate myopia. This is because they have been proven to decrease axial elongation in as little as 6 months. The best part? 1-day soft lenses are incredibly easy to use. They’re designed to be worn for just a single day, after which they can be discarded. Plus, they provide clear vision and a comfort level comparable to that of glasses. This makes them especially great for first-time wearers.
Essilor's Stellest Spectacle Lenses
As we’ve previously discussed, contacts are a great option for treating myopia. However, they aren’t ideal for everyone. For example, they don’t work as well for patients who have high astigmatism or those who have a higher degree of myopia. This is why many optometrists have turned to another myopia management technique: spectacle lenses. Essilor's Stellest lenses uses customized aspherical lenslets to form a signal in front of the retina to slow down the elongation of the eye. In addition to slowing down the progression of myopia, many patients with dry eyes find that glasses are more comfortable than contacts.
Low Dose Atropine Eye Drops
0.05% Atropine eye drops are another effective myopia management treatment. It's perfect for those who are looking for an affordable option to manage myopia. It works by decreasing the focusing efforts of the eyes. This, in turn, decreases myopia progression. Low dose atropine of 0.05% is ideal for long-term treatment of myopia with few side effects. It’s also often used in conjunction with other treatments. For instance, an optometrist may prescribe atropine eye drops to a child who wears glasses. The glasses may need to be progressive lenses or sunchanger lenses to help with near-focusing difficulties or to decrease light sensitivity.
The bottom line...
As you can see, there are plenty of effective, PAIN-FREE treatments for myopia. Myopia is not a condition you want to ignore. Instead, you should visit an optometrist and ask about the various ways in which it can be managed. Whether you’re prescribed 1-day soft lenses, spectacle lenses, or atropine eye drops, rest assured: there are plenty of ways to combat myopia.
Now is the time to fight back against the progression of myopia. Visit your optometrist and find out which myopia management techniques are right for you.
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