In the year 2000, about 1,400 million myopias were registered; in 2020, this figure will increase to 2,600 million myopias; and in 2050, this figure is expected to reach 5,000 million. In Spain, the number of myopic children has doubled in the last 4 years.
The genetic component is important. A short-sighted parent multiplies three time more the possibility of myopia and the number increases to six if the two parents are myopic. One of the factors that experts consider most relevant, however, is the exposure to hours of daylight; that is, the more time children spend under artificial light, the easier they can develop myopia.
Myopia is not just a blurry vision, but also increases the probability of developing eye complications throughout life such as glaucoma, cataract, retinal detachment and myopic maculopathy if left untreated. Early intervention of parents, together with vision professionals, is essential for the short and long-term health and well-being of their children.
During the last decades, not only has increased the incidence of myopia in general, but also the proportion of the myopia magna (more than 6 diopters), Today almost half of the young european population is short-sighted, and the percentage of myopia magna already exceeds 10%.
The most serious reason for the importance of myopia, are its possible consequences, since myopia magna can lead to low vision or even blindness. In fact, it has such a negative impact that it occupies the first place among the ocular pathologies of the members of ONCE.
It is essential to know that myopia grows irreversibly during childhood and adolescence, approximately between the age of 7 and 17 . That is why it is important to intervene in this process precisely during this period.
New treatments to stop MYOPIA.
A new treatment with contact lenses that reduces the growth of myopia in children and adolescents by 59 %. In the study carried out on children from ages from 8 to 15 years, there appear very good results: both in the control of myopia and in the comfort and visual improvement. Avoid high graduations (above 6 diopters) prevents the appearance of maculopathies and retinal detachments.
The main feature of this lens is that it has four optical zones:
• 2 compensation areas (refractive compensation))
• 2 treatment areas (2.00D myopic defocus))
Myopic defocusing controls the axial elongation of the eye (and therefore the growth of refractive error).
Treatment with atropine combines to the lenses.
For a complete treatment and its best action in the patient to the use of the day or night contact lenses, they must be associated with the use of 0.01% atropine eye drops, this increases the slowing effect in the evolution of myopia.
These treatments (lenses and use of atropine) must be performed by the ophthalmologist together with the optometrist in ophthalmological clinics, to control the possible side effects of atropine and the use of contact lenses, that although very rarely exist.
Therefore, "if we add daily an atropine eye drop for a prolonged period of time to children with myopia, we slow down its progression in a greater percentage".
They are disposable lenses for daily use and are commercialized under the name of MiSight 1-Day. This study, conducted over three years on 144 boys and girls from Singapore, Canada, England, and Portugal, has measured the slowing of myopia growth compared to monofocal lenses for this purpose, but they also measured so important aspects like this children's comfort, the confidence and serenity of their parents, the independence of minors when inserting and removing the lenses, as well as the children's eyesight during activities in both closed and open spaces t.
The study has been double masked, that is, neither the patients nor the doctors knew if they were using MiSight or control lenses (normal lenses): there was shown a reduction in myopia growth of 59% and a reduction in the axial length of the eye of 53%.
MiSight lenses versus the monofocal lenses.
The study assesses the importance of slowing the growth of myopia at an early age, as well as the axial lengthening of the eye (eye length growth).
The contact lenses represent two correction zones: one in the center of the eye and one in the peripheral zone. About this area studies have been centered in the last decade, very concerned with the way the eye grows and how it is related to the appearance of myopia magna (more than six diopters). This growth of the eye increases the risk of suffering from vitro-retinal diseases in life as an adult that can cause a visual disability.
That is why this second focus in the periphery is so important, since it is studied and applied to avoid that elongation of the eye. Here lies the main difference with conventional monofocal lenses, that by setting only one control point in the center of the eye, they do not provide this preventive help.
Another treatment Ortho-K
Orthokeratology is based on the use of special lenses that the patient uses during the night and removes them in the morning. During sleep, the eye adapts to the curvature of the lens so that, when removed in the morning, the myopic patient can enjoy 100% vision throughout the day without having to wear glasses or contact lenses. The effect has a minimum duration of 18-20 hours, moment from which, depending on the cases, the graduation reverts slowly to its initial situation. Afterwards, Ortho-K lenses will be used again during the night, recovering good vision again.
The main difference of Ortho-K with conventional contact lenses is that during the day it is not necessary to wear glasses or contact lenses, just like after a refractive surgery, but without the risks associated with these interventions, since it is completely reversible, and the eye returns to its normal state when you stop using the lenses.
How work the night lenses?
When a person with myopia puts on lenses, they create hydraulic forces that change the shape of the epithelium. This way, the epithelium becomes a little thinner in the center of the cornea and thicker around the center.
The orthokeratological lenses do not exert direct pressure on the cornea. The way in which this shaping is achieved is because the Ortho K lens exerts a compressive force on the tear layer that separates the cornea from the lens. The tear layer redistributes the force so that the lens modifies the shape of the epithelium (external layer of the cornea), generating two zones: one of application and another of suction. these are the changes at the surface level that change the structure of the epithelium and therefore the changes in the graduation.
In contrast to other techniques, such as laser refractive surgery, the effect of Ortho-K is reversible. The patient can always return to his initial state simply by interrupting the use of the lenses.
Research in recent years has shown that the treatment of myopia with Orth-K is the most effective non-pharmacological method to slow down the progression of myopia in children and adolescents. The sooner the treatment starts, the better the results (the average slowdown is around 50%). In some cases, depending on the evolution of myopia, it is also possible to combine Ortho-K with pharmacological treatments in eye drops, and that it is an effective medicament to stop myopia (but it does not correct the refractive error).
Its combined use with Ortho-K opens the door to greater control of myopia.