Myopia is a visual defect that consists in the inability of the eye to focus properly on the retinal images that refer to distant objects. This happens because the eyeball in nearsighted people is not spherical, but slightly elongated horizontally. The light rays therefore do not converge correctly on the retina, but slightly in front. For this reason, distant objects appear blurred and corrective lenses are required to focus correctly. In addition to these, there are now new treatments for children’s myopia.
Why is children’s myopia increasing?
The new generations are on average more short-term than before. There is definitely a genetic basis: children with myopic parents have better chances of being themselves. Among populations of Oriental origin, myopia is more prevalent than in the West, but according to experts, this vision defect is also more and more common in Europe and the United States. Today, about one in four children has problems with myopia, and the percentage seems to be rising.
The reasons are also related to the new wrong habits of the new generations. Children and teenagers spend too much time indoors with their eyes fixed on devices such as smartphones and PCs. The eye movements are therefore stimulated only slightly, and the eye itself is forced to focus only on nearby images.
How is myopia treated in children?
At one point, the treatment of children’s myopia consisted essentially of a pair of corrective glasses. Today, however, there are a few more options. First and foremost, according to experts, one way to prevent or slow down the onset of myopia in the very young is to improve living habits. Spending more time outdoors, with a view to landscapes and objects placed at a distance in general, would have a preventative effect. PCs and smartphones should be limited as much as possible. Proper nutrition is also important, rich in fruits and vegetables that provide antioxidants and protective substances to the health of the eye tissues. The use of semi-rigid contact lenses is also recommended in some cases of high myopia, but only with advice and strict control by the ophthalmologist. In adulthood, only after myopia has stabilized, it is possible to resort to refractive surgery.
How is myopia in children slowed down?
Among the treatments for children’s myopia today, there is some news. According to some reliable scientific studies, very low dose of atropine in eye drops, currently only available as a galenic drug, administered every night, would be up to 60-70% effective in reducing the progression of myopia. A more recent option is peripheral defocus lenses, indicated to slow the progression of myopia in children and adolescents.
These lenses are characterized by the so-called DIMS technology, which consists of a lens with a 9 mm central optical zone that corrects the refractive error in television. Around the central region, there are several defocus segments extending to the semipiferous region of the lens with a positive correction of three and a half diopters more. In short, it is a multifocal lens that is able to slow down the extension of the axis of the eyeball, which is responsible for myopia.
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