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Slowing Progression of Nearsightedness

Community Eyecare:  A Myopia Control Center


Myopia, or as it is more frequently known, "nearsightedness," is the most common cause today of distance vision impairment.  It is a condition that often begins early in life and progresses throughout most of the teens and early twenties.  According to an aricle in Review of Optomety, approximately 15 billion people currently are affected by myopia and by 2050 that number is expected to rise to 5 billion.  Rapid progression year-in and year-out can lead to high myopia which is defined as having a prescription greater than -5.00 D.  High myopia is also increasing in prevalence and is not just associated with thicker glasses or stronger prescriptions, but also pose a higher risk for a number of sight-threatening diseases such as myopic macular degeneration, glaucoma, retinal detachments and cataracts.  Because of these risks and other inconveniences of high myopia, it goes without saying that being able to reduce the risk of onset and slow the progressions of myopia are of primary importance.


Traditionally, treating myopia has been centered solely on correcting the blurriness with appropriate corrective lenses, but without thought as to slowing progession of the disorder.  Now with the most up to date studies and contact lens technology, the doctors at Communtiy Eyecare are using specialty contact lenses to actively control and slow progression of myopia.  Since most progression occurs in childhood and adolescence, it underscores the importance of yearly eye exams for children so that the onset of myopia can be detected as soon as possible and progression can be slowed earlier in its process.  The doctors use both Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) and multifocal contact lenses for myopia control.  Recent studies have shown that both of these treatments are able to slow progession over time by 40-60%  This prevents many from entering into the high myopic range which in turn reduces the chance for development of sight-threatening diseases.  


With CRT, special contact lenses are fit specifically for your child's eyes, and are worn only at night time.  While sleeping, the lenses gently reshape the front surface of the eye (the cornea) to correct the vision, so that a child can see clearly iwthout glasses or contact lenses when he/she is awake.  In addition, the corneal reshaping has shown to significantly slow down the elongation of the eye which is what contributes to progression of myopia.


Multifocal soft contact lenses are the newest trend in controlling myopic progression.  Children as young as 7 or 8 who show quick progressing myopic changes can be successsfully fit in these lenses.  Multifocal contact lenses use different optical zones within the lens to give the child both clear distance vision during wear time while also slowing the elongation of the eye to prevent progression.


One question that is frequently asked is if contact lenses are safe to use in young children.  Physically, a child's eyes can tolerate contact lenses at a very young age.  Even infants and toddlers in some rare cases of congenital cataracts are fit successfully in contact lenses.  Children are naturally great contact lens wearers if they accept the responsibilty for them.  They typically are highly motivated to wear contacts and usually adapt well to them.  They have fewer complications with dry eye and irratiation than adults.  In addition, contact lenses can prevent sports injuries caused by broken frames, enable better vision and can increase a child's self-esteem.


The focus for the doctors at Community Eyecare is to be able to provide parents the information they need to be able to make the best educated decisions regarding their children's eyecare and ocluar health.  They will continue to provide excellent care in prescribing the best options for tradiotinal glasses and contact lenses as well as the newest advancements in slowing the progression of mypoia.



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Our Dry Eye Center

Northeast Wisconsin's Optometrists of Choice


Menasha Office

1255 Appleton Road
Menasha, WI 54952-1501
Phone: (920) 722-6872

Monday: 9am - 5pm
Tuesday: 9am - 7pm
Wednesday: 9am - 5pm
Thursday: 7am - 7pm
Friday: 8am - 4pm


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950 West Ryan Street
Brillion, WI 54110-1042
Phone: (920) 756-2020

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413 South Main Street
Black Creek, WI 54106-9501
Phone: (920) 984-3937

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Tuesday: 8am - 2pm
Wednesday: 11am - 5pm
Thursday: 11am - 7pm
Friday: 10am - 2pm

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