In today’s world, education and technology are changing the way we see. The digital age is upon us and is never going away! From early childhood, we are bombarded with near-vision demands from books, computers, video games, and hand-held electronics, and there are significant consequences. 1.45 billion people in the world have myopia, or nearsightedness, and it has been projected to jump to 2.5 billion by 2020.
Progressive nearsightedness is costly and potentially dangerous. Getting new eyeglasses and contact lenses for a constantly changing prescription can be expensive. Individuals with myopia can develop high myopia (a person with high myopia cannot even see the big “E” on an eye chart without corrective lenses). People with high myopia are at greater risk for glaucoma, cataracts, retinal detachment and trauma, and other serious eye problems that can lead to vision loss or blindness.
In most cases, myopia is the result of an anatomically elongated eyeball or by an extremely curved cornea (the front part of the eye), which causes light to focus in front of the retina instead of directly on it, making distant objects blurry. Traditional eyeglasses and contact lenses allow light to focus correctly on the retina and restore clear central vision. However, the peripheral retina of an individual with myopia is often less impaired than the central retina. Glasses and contacts that correct vision in the central retina may also be over-correcting the myopia in the peripheral retina, causing a blur known as “hyperopic defocus.” Hyperopic defocus stimulates the lengthening of the eye, perhaps leading to rapid progression of myopia from early childhood then into the early adult years. Clinical studies on myopia control are centered on further understanding and controlling this phenomenon.
For years, researchers have been searching for effective methods to halt or slow down the progression of myopia. Studies have found several methods that significantly reduce the advancement of myopia, but only for a short-term period. These methods include multifocal eyeglasses, gas permeable contact lenses, and atropine eye drops. Currently, the only proven way to improve the progression of myopia is corneal refractive therapy (CRT), also known as corneal reshaping.
Corneal reshaping lenses (CRTs) reshape the cornea as you sleep; they reform the cornea to be flat in the central region and steeper in the peripheral region. This results in a focused image for both central and peripheral vision, diminishing hyperopic defocus on the mid-peripheral retina. It is believed in the absence of hyperopic defocus, elongation of the eyeball can be significantly reduced compared to other methods of myopia correction. For more information about CRTs, click here.
The dramatic increase in the prevalence of myopia is generating major health concerns. Presently, there is a lot of research centered on ways to improve myopia control. Corneal reshaping therapy has been proven to slow down the progression of myopia, and it is most effective in children. Dr. Ferguson sees many nearsighted patients, and he has treated hundreds of patients using the CRT method to prevent worsening myopia. If you or your child has myopia, visit or contact Dunes Eye Consultants to see what you can do to improve your quality of vision.