By Sheila Morrison, OD, MS Vision Science
Journal of Contact Lens Research and Science
Mission Eye Care
Myopia, or nearsightedness, occurs when the eye grows too long relative to the focusing power of the eye. When the eye grows too long, it is at higher risk for vision threatening diseases. The most commonly seen type of myopia progression (school-age myopia) occurs between the ages of about 5 to 16 years old. If detected early enough, the progression of school-aged myopia can be slowed by 30-60% in most children using specialized lenses or eye drops.
Myopia Control has taken a recent shift from purely a research interest and passion to those within small global research circles…today it is approaching the standard of care for Optometric practice. All ODs in the United States and Canada are graduating with at least some basic understanding or awareness about ‘modern myopia management’. Curriculum has expanded at Optometry schools to include myopia control in 100% of our North American schools. The buzz I hear amongst academics and industry key opinion leaders, is a push to continue to increase this curriculum to ensure that we do give students adequate confidence and training related to all recommended therapies used in myopia control.
I have worn glasses since my math teacher noticed my inability to see the board in Algebra class in the 7th grade. It turned out that I had bad, irregular astigmatism as well as near sightedness—and it has only gotten worse since—with a minor eye-injury in my early adulthood, chronically dry eyes, and steadily deteriorating vision at distance. As a professional writer by trade, lacking the medical background or academic acumen for understanding my vision-related options, glasses had simply become a given facet of my life, and one that I’d never thought to question before. For me, it had always been a choice between glasses and eye-surgery, shutting me off from the significant benefits of lensing options. Only recently, some thirty years after my first pair of glasses, have I finally gotten around to trying scleral contact lenses—amazed now by the freedom they offer, and baffled that it took me so long to give them a try.