Myopia Control: Things you need to know


Blurry image of two children

What is myopia?

Myopia (or near-sightedness) occurs when the eye grows too long and focuses images in front of the retina, instead of on it. This results in blurry distance vision. 

What causes myopia?

We are not 100% sure why some children become myopic and others don't. We do know there is both a genetic component and an environmental component. Parents with myopia are likely to have children who are also myopic.

Other causes may be:

  • Lack of exposure to daylight.
  • Excessive up-close work, like reading or looking at a phone or tablet. 

What is progressive myopia?

Optometrists used to see myopia in patients at about age 12 but we are now seeing it in children much younger. Normally, myopia gradually progresses until the child stops growing around age 18 to 21.

In some children, the eyes grow much faster than average. This is called progressive myopia. Left untreated, progressive myopia may increase the risk of conditions like glaucoma or retinal detachment. 

Can myopia be prevented?

We can't prevent myopia from progressing, but we can try to slow it down. While your child's prescription may still continue to change, it will change at a slower rate. This means they will have a lower risk of developing eye conditions later in life as a result of higher levels of myopia. 

How is progressive myopia managed?

We used the most up-to-date evidence-based strategies to manage myopia progression.  Specially designed contact lenses (including soft CLs and orthokeratology), eyeglass lenses, and eye drops (or a combination of approaches) can be used to slow the progression of myopia.  We track eye growth and prescription changes over time and can adjust treatment methods as needed.