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How can we prevent myopia in our child? Or reduce power.

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Practicing since : 2000
Answered : 101 Questions
hi doctor ... my son has -4 and -4.5 myopia and he's only 5 years old. its his first eye examination this week and no earlier signs. we took him to eye specialist (opthalmologist) and had eye drops to dilute for thorough checking. we also took him to optician and same results.

my eyesight is -8.7 and -9 myopia and my wife is -12.0 and -10.0 myopia. we both wear glasses and contact lenses. am indian and my wife is chinese.

he likes to read close but doesn't watch much TV. we're so worried now, depressed and can't sleep. how to prevent it from getting worse and is there any way to reduce 'power'?? optician prescibed special myovision glasses (from zeiss) and will arrive in 2 weeks. I heard of eye drops atropine and pirenzepine. am worried he might get blind before adulthood.

thanks. any advise is much appreciated.
Posted Thu, 19 Apr 2012 in Vision and Eye Disorders
Answered by Dr. Mihir Shah 6 hours later
Thanks for the query.
Your son has got myopia (nearsightedness) in both eyes. The exact causes for myopia are not known but heredity plays a major role.

Nearsightedness may be corrected with glasses, contact lenses or eye surgery. Depending on your vision problem, you may need to wear your glasses or contact lenses all the time or only when you need distance vision, like driving, seeing a chalkboard or watching a movie.

If you're nearsighted, your prescription is a negative number. The higher the numeral, the stronger your lenses will be.
In the future, a lot of other options will be available for correction of myopia.But till your son is 18, glasses and contact lenses are the only option. Regular use of glasses can potentially halt progression.
Refractive surgery can reduce or even eliminate your need for glasses or contacts. The most common procedures are performed with an Excimer laser. These procedures are usually done after 18 years of age.

* In photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), the laser removes a layer of corneal tissue, which flattens the cornea and allows light rays to focus closer to or even on the retina.
* In laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK), the most commonly done refractive procedure, a flap is cut through the top of the cornea, a laser removes some corneal tissue, and then the flap is dropped back into place.

Then there's orthokeratology, a non-surgical procedure where you wear special contact lenses that slowly reshape the cornea over time to correct your myopia. When the lenses are removed, the cornea temporarily retains the new shape, so you can see clearly without the lenses.

With orthokeratology or corneal refractive therapy (CRT), an orthokeratology-like procedure, you wear cornea-shaping lenses at night, so you have daytime vision without contacts or glasses.

Implantable lenses known as phakic intraocular lenses (IOLs) are a newer surgical option for correcting nearsightedness, particularly in more extreme cases that may be unsuitable for LASIK or other vision correction surgery.

Phakic IOLs work like contact lenses, except they are surgically placed within the eye and typically are permanent, which means no maintenance is needed. Unlike IOLs used in cataract surgery, phakic IOLs do not replace the eye's natural lens, which is left intact.

Best regards,
Dr.Mihir Shah
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