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What are treatment options for myopia correction?

Three children wearing glasses looking at computer screen

There are several treatment options that effectively correct blurred vision caused by myopia (nearsightedness). Primary among them are corrective lenses and refractive surgery.

First, a few basic facts about myopia. Nearsightedness is a common refractive error that's characterized by blurry distance vision; near vision typically is unaffected by myopia.

Myopia is caused by the eyeball growing too long during childhood. This causes light that enters the eye to be focused too quickly — it comes to a focal point in front of the retina instead of directly on it. This focusing error is what causes blurry distance vision.

Treatment options for myopia correction include:

  • Eyeglasses

  • Contact Lenses

  • Orthokeratology

  • LASIK and other vision correction surgery

Typically, myopia continues to progress during childhood and even through high school and college. Eyeglasses and contact lenses are the best treatment options while nearsightedness is still changing. 

Another option is orthokeratology (ortho-k). This is the fitting of specially designed contact lenses that reshape the cornea of the eye to temporarily correct mild to moderate myopia. Ortho-k lenses are worn only at night during sleep. When the lenses are removed in the morning, the cornea maintains the shape required for clear vision during the day without corrective lenses. 

Ortho-k also has been shown to be effective in providing some level of myopia control. In other words, even if orthokeratology is discontinued after several years, the amount of myopia that returns tends to be less severe than what the person would be expected to have if they had worn eyeglasses or regular contact lenses as a child rather than wearing the ortho-k lenses.

Though many people aren't aware of orthokeratology as a treatment option for myopia, it's often a very good choice for individuals who don't want to wear corrective lenses during the day and are too young for LASIK or aren't good candidates for laser vision correction for other reasons.

Once myopia stabilizes (usually after age 18 to 20), LASIK and other surgical vision correction procedures become good treatment options for myopia correction as well.

If you or your child are nearsighted and it's been more than a year since your last eye exam, schedule one today with an eye doctor near you.

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