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Myopia Management in Washington, D.C - Protecting The Long-Term Eye Health of Your Child

Your Child’s Prescription Seems To Get Worse All The Time. It’s More Than An Inconvenience. It’s A Serious Risk To Your Child’s Vision.

If your child’s prescription for nearsightedness is getting worse all the time, it’s more than an inconvenience. Myopia can be aggressive. As incidence rates of myopia drastically rise, it’s also the case that aggressive or progressive myopia is rapidly increasing too. This situation is much worse than needing stronger and stronger corrective lenses, glasses or contacts. Myopia puts your child at risk for a wide range of serious and potentially devastating eye conditions later in life. These risks include:

      • Cataracts
      • Macular Degeneration
      • Retinal detachment
      • Glaucoma

The more advanced the progression, the greater the risks associated with the Myopia. However, the research is now showing that any amount of myopia is dangerous.

At The Myopia Management Center At Washington Eye Doctors, we specialize in providing Washington, D.C with effective, specialized treatment to manage the progression of myopia. By stopping or even halting the progression of myopia, we reduce these long-term risks to best ensure that your child enjoys seeing the world with healthy eyes throughout his or her life.

girl with flowers in here hair and smiling

Myopia Management in Washington, D.C - Protecting The Long-Term Eye Health of Your Child

Your child’s prescription seems to get worse all the time. It’s more than an inconvenience. It’s a serious risk to your child’s vision.

If your child’s prescription for nearsightedness is getting worse all the time, it’s more than an inconvenience. Myopia can be aggressive. As incidence rates of myopia drastically rise, it’s also the case that aggressive or progressive myopia is rapidly increasing too. This situation is much worse than needing stronger and stronger corrective lenses, glasses or contacts. Myopia puts your child at risk for a wide range of serious and potentially devastating eye conditions later in life. These risks include:

      • Cataracts
      • Macular Degeneration
      • Retinal detachment
      • Glaucoma

The more advanced the progression, the greater the risks associated with the Myopia. However, the research is now showing that any amount of myopia is dangerous.

At The Myopia Management Center At Washington Eye Doctors, we specialize in providing Washington, D.C with effective, specialized treatment to manage the progression of myopia. By stopping or even halting the progression of myopia, we reduce these long-term risks to best ensure that your child enjoys seeing the world with healthy eyes throughout his or her life.

Methods of Myopia Management:

Orthokeratology | Soft Multi-Focal Lenses| Atropine Drops

What Is Myopia?

Nearsightedness, known as myopia, is one of the most common vision problems. Myopia causes the inability to see far away with your naked eye. Simply put, it is the reason that millions of people are wearing glasses or contacts. For years, we have assumed that if your child needs glasses, you buy them glasses, end of story. Sure, their prescription will go up every year and as a parent, you will just get them new glasses when that happens. What's the big deal? That's what we have been doing for decades. However, the research is showing that increased levels of myopia can be a risk for the health of your child's eyes.

When Myopia occurs, the eyeball is elongated and stretched off the retinal tissue. When your prescription goes up, that means the stretch is getting longer. The issue with a stretched out eyeball is that it can eventually lead to retinal tears, macular degeneration, and other eye diseases later in life. Myopia is a problem that we think can be easily solved because of glasses. However, glasses are like a band-aid. They just mask the problem, it doesn't solve the problem.

The mindset parents need to have with their children's myopia is similar to how we commonly treat the need for braces. It's a standard nowadays that parents get their kids braces, often spending a lot of money, so their children have straight teeth. Shouldn't the long-term health of the eye be treated the same?

What can be done?

Luckily, there are many solutions that can reduce myopia up to 80% and we call it myopia management. Orthokeratology, specifically designed soft multifocal lenses, and diluted atropine drops are all viable option. 

girl with glasses thinking
What Is Myopia?

Nearsightedness, known as myopia, is one of the most common vision problems. Myopia causes the inability to see far away with your naked eye. Simply put, it is the reason that millions of people are wearing glasses or contacts. For years, we have assumed that if your child needs glasses, you buy them glasses, end of story. Sure, their prescription will go up every year and as a parent, you will just get them new glasses when that happens. What's the big deal? That's what we have been doing for decades. However, the research is showing that increased levels of myopia can be a risk for the health of your child's eyes.

When Myopia occurs, the eyeball is elongated and stretched off the retinal tissue. When your prescription goes up, that means the stretch is getting longer. The issue with a stretched out eyeball is that it can eventually lead to retinal tears, macular degeneration, and other eye diseases later in life. Myopia is a problem that we think can be easily solved because of glasses. However, glasses are like a band-aid. They just mask the problem, it doesn't solve the problem.

The mindset parents need to have with their children's myopia is similar to how we commonly treat the need for braces. It's a standard nowadays that parents get their kids braces, often spending a lot of money, so their children have straight teeth. Shouldn't the long-term health of the eye be treated the same?

What can be done?

Luckily, there are many solutions that can reduce myopia up to 80% and we call it myopia management. Orthokeratology, specifically designed soft multifocal lenses, and diluted atropine drops are all viable option. 

What Is Progressive Myopia?
What Is Progressive Myopia?

Myopia is very often progressive. This means that the distance vision gets worse and worse, meaning your child constantly needs an updated and stronger prescription and new glasses or contacts. Since learning is by and large visual, the progression of myopia often outpaces your child’s eye exams. Myopia, therefore, negatively affects your child’s school performance. What’s more, the rate of progression of myopia directly correlates with the risk levels of developing vision-threatening eye diseases. Typically, myopia is broken down into these categories:

  • High Myopia
  • Moderate Myopia
  • Low Myopia

Low, High, and Medium correspond to how far along the myopia has progressed, in other words, how strong a prescription is needed. The higher the myopia and the higher the rate of progression, the higher the risks to your child’s vision.

What Causes Myopia?

Myopic vision is caused when the eye becomes elongated and and overly-curved in the front. This causes the objects we see to become blurry at a distance. In short, the signals to our eyes get distorted.

The exact cause of myopia is not entirely clear, although it seems to be a combination of genetics and environment. More and more, the evidence is pointing to two factors which seem to greatly affect the incidence rates around the world: greatly reduced time outdoors and rapidly increasing time spent in front of digital devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets.

pretty girl with glasses
Child Glasses Smart
Teen Girl Smiling Window

Why Are Rates of Myopia Increasing? Is Myopia An Epidemic?

While the exact causes of Myopia are not entirely certain, what is certain is that rates of myopia are drastically on the rise throughout the world. In fact, over 10 million American children have myopia, nearly double the incidence rate of myopia as compared to only a 2 decades ago. Incidence of myopia in children is enough for it to be considered an epidemic, with the number expected to jump 40% worldwide by 2050. Myopia is currently the 6th leading cause of blindness worldwide, with that figure expected to rise.

You Treat Nearsightedness With Glasses Or Contact Lenses, Isn’t That Enough?

Corrective lenses such as regular glasses or contact lenses refocus the light to compensate for the myopia. This is what allows someone with myopia to see more clearly. However, Lenses DO NOT address the myopia itself: the elongated eyeball or overly curved front of the eye and the risks associated with it.  Wearing Glasses or Contact Lenses for myopia issues would be analogous to taking Tylenol for the short-term management of a fever's symptoms, while not taking the antibiotics necessary to cure the actual infection.   

How Is Myopia Dangerous? Isn’t Myopia Just Inconvenient?

What many people don’t know is that myopia is dangerous. Over recent years, the research has conclusively shown that myopia significantly increases the likelihood of a number of serious conditions which can rob your child of sight as he or she ages. This includes: Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, and Retinal Detachment.

  • Cataracts and Myopia
    A child with medium to high myopia is 5 times more likely to develop cataracts in his or her lifetime.
    Cataracts is condition where the lens of the eye clouds over and makes vision difficult or even impossible.
  • Glaucoma and Myopia
    Rates of glaucoma increase dramatically in children with myopia. A child with myopia is medium-high 3 times more likely to develop this serious condition, which occurs when fluid build up puts pressure on the eye causing irreversible damage to the optic nerve. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness.
  • Retinal Detachment: Even Mild Myopia is Dangerous
    New research is showing that medium and high myopia significantly increases the risk of retinal detachment. A child with mild myopia, -4 to -7, is 21 times more likely to develop retinal detachment, while children with high myopia, worse than -7, are 44 times more likely to develop this serious vision condition.

    Retinal Detachment is a condition where the retina literally detaches from the layers beneath it. This causes lost fields of visions, flashes of light, floaters, and even total loss of your child’s eyesight.

  • Myopic Macular Degeneration
    Myopia occurs because the eyeball becomes increasingly elongated. When the progression of myopia is extremely high, or, malignant, it can cause the retina to be stretched, causing tears to form in the macula and bleeding in the areas beneath the retina. This can cause irreversible vision loss and blindness. Children with -5 to -7 have a 44 time greater increased risk, and 126 time greater for children with high myopia.
pretty girl with glasses
What Causes Myopia?

Myopic vision is caused when the eye becomes elongated and and overly-curved in the front. This causes the objects we see to become blurry at a distance. In short, the signals to our eyes get distorted.

The exact cause of myopia is not entirely clear, although it seems to be a combination of genetics and environment. More and more, the evidence is pointing to two factors which seem to greatly affect the incidence rates around the world: greatly reduced time outdoors and rapidly increasing time spent in front of digital devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets.

Why Are Rates of Myopia Increasing? Is Myopia An Epidemic?

While the exact causes of Myopia are not entirely certain, what is certain is that rates of myopia are drastically on the rise throughout the world. In fact, over 10 million American children have myopia, nearly double the incidence rate of myopia as compared to only a 2 decades ago. Incidence of myopia in children is enough for it to be considered an epidemic, with the number expected to jump 40% worldwide by 2050. Myopia is currently the 6th leading cause of blindness worldwide, with that figure expected to rise.

You Treat Nearsightedness With Glasses Or Contact Lenses, Isn’t That Enough?

Corrective lenses such as regular glasses or contact lenses refocus the light to compensate for the myopia. This is what allows someone with myopia to see more clearly. However, Lenses DO NOT address the myopia itself: the elongated eyeball or overly curved front of the eye and the risks associated with it. Wearing Glasses or Contact Lenses for myopia issues would be analogous to taking Tylenol for the short-term management of a fever's symptoms, while not taking the antibiotics necessary to cure the actual infection. 

How Is Myopia Dangerous? Isn’t Myopia Just Inconvenient?

What many people don’t know is that myopia is dangerous. Over recent years, the research has conclusively shown that myopia significantly increases the likelihood of a number of serious conditions which can rob your child of sight as he or she ages. This includes: Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, and Retinal Detachment.

  • Cataracts and Myopia
    A child with medium to high myopia is 5 times more likely to develop cataracts in his or her lifetime.
    Cataracts is condition where the lens of the eye clouds over and makes vision difficult or even impossible.
  • Glaucoma and Myopia
    Rates of glaucoma increase dramatically in children with myopia. A child with myopia is medium-high 3 times more likely to develop this serious condition, which occurs when fluid build up puts pressure on the eye causing irreversible damage to the optic nerve. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness.
  • Retinal Detachment: Even Mild Myopia is Dangerous
    New research is showing that medium and high myopia significantly increases the risk of retinal detachment. A child with mild myopia, -4 to -7, is 21 times more likely to develop retinal detachment, while children with high myopia, worse than -7, are 44 times more likely to develop this serious vision condition.Retinal Detachment is a condition where the retina literally detaches from the layers beneath it. This causes lost fields of visions, flashes of light, floaters, and even total loss of your child’s eyesight.
  • Myopic Macular Degeneration
    Myopia occurs because the eyeball becomes increasingly elongated. When the progression of myopia is extremely high, or, malignant, it can cause the retina to be stretched, causing tears to form in the macula and bleeding in the areas beneath the retina. This can cause irreversible vision loss and blindness. Children with -5 to -7 have a 44 time greater increased risk, and 126 time greater for children with high myopia.

Manage The Progression Of Your Child’s Myopia.

Book A Myopia Management Appointment

What Is Myopia Management?

In recent years, a number of advanced methods have been developed to manage myopia. Unlike glasses or regular contact lenses, the goal of myopia management is to slow or even halt the progression of myopia entirely. At The Myopia Management Center At Washington Eye Doctors, Dr. Michael Rosenblatt will begin with a full assessment of your child’s myopia. We will then recommend a personalized treatment plan to slow or even stop your child’s myopia from getting worse. This is what will minimize the risks to your child’s long-term vision.

When Should My Child Start Myopia Management?

The more advanced the myopia is, the greater the risks. Therefore, our Washington, D.C Myopia Management Experts recommend starting Myopia Management as soon as myopia is detected. It’s important to halt the myopia before your child’s vision deteriorates any further. This is the only way to minimize the risks. It also has the significant benefit of keeping your child from needing stronger and stronger lenses over time.

Girl Polka Dot Dress
What Is Myopia Management?

In recent years, a number of advanced methods have been developed to manage myopia. Unlike glasses or regular contact lenses, the goal of myopia management is to slow or even halt the progression of myopia entirely. At The Myopia Management Center At Washington Eye Doctors, Dr. Michael Rosenblatt will begin with a full assessment of your child’s myopia. We will then recommend a personalized treatment plan to slow or even stop your child’s myopia from getting worse. This is what will minimize the risks to your child’s long-term vision.

The more advanced the myopia is, the greater the risks. Therefore, our Washington, D.C Myopia Management Experts recommend starting Myopia Management as soon as myopia is detected. It’s important to halt the myopia before your child’s vision deteriorates any further. This is the only way to minimize the risks. It also has the significant benefit of keeping your child from needing stronger and stronger lenses over time.

What Treatments Are There For Myopia? How Does Myopia Management Work?

There are three main treatments that are used for effective Myopia Management. These are:

  • Orthokeratology (Ortho-k), also known as GVSS (Gentle Vision Shaping System) and CRT Lenses (Corneal Refractive Therapy Lenses). Read more on Ortho-k+
  • Specialized soft multifocal contact lenses
  • Atropine Therapy

Each treatment option has its advantages and disadvantages. After we assess your child’s myopia, we will talk through all the options and develop a treatment plan that works best for your family.

Girls Glasses Bench Outdoors
siblings
Teen Boy Blue Glasses

Ortho-K, or orthokeratology goes by many names.

  • Gentle Shaping Vision System (GVSS)
  • Corneal Reshaping Therapy (CRT)
  • Vision Shaping Therapy (VST)
  • Corneal Molding (CM)

All of these treatment names are more or less the same thing. A rigid contact lens is custom-made for your child’s eyes by our Washington, D.C Myopia Management experts. These special lenses are worn at night by your child. As your child sleeps, the lenses gently reshape the cornea of the eyes. This reshaping corrects the elongation of the eye which causes the myopia. What this means is that the wearer won’t need glasses or contact lenses during the day at all — an especially appealing option for kids who don’t want to wear glasses or young athletes. What’s more, ortho-k has been proven to be highly effective at slowing and halting the progression of myopia, so it also is protecting your child’s adult vision while freeing them from glasses in the here and now.

Ortho-k allows adults and children alike to wake up with their vision adjusted, without the need to wear glasses or contacts during the day. For children, Ortho-k has been proven effective at slowing and even halting the progression of Myopia.

Ortho-k for Adults: A Safe Vision Correction Alternative to LASIK Surgery
Because corneal reshaping allows the wearer to see without glasses or contacts during the day, more and more adults are also being fitted for ortho-k. This could be for social or lifestyle reasons. Ortho-k is also appealing to certain professions such as:

  • Construction workers
  • Law Enforcement
  • Athletes
  • Pilots
  • Long-distance drivers

Ortho-k is an effective and non-surgical alternative to LASIK, and will often work for people who, for whatever reason, don’t want or don’t qualify for LASIK surgery. Read more on Ortho-k+

Another way myopia can be managed is by using soft, multifocal contact lenses, which your child wears during the day. By altering the near, middle, and peripheral focus, in addition to correcting distance vision, the eyes are forced to adjust. This slows down the elongation in the eye overtime and is an effective means to manage myopia.

Atropine is a medicated drop, the very same which is used to dilate the eyes for an exam. In micro-doses (around 0.01%), atropine has been found to be highly effective at reducing myopia with no discernable side effects. Atropine Therapy is safe, and an ideal choice for children who are too young to begin ortho-k. What’s more, atropine can be effectively combined with other methods of myopia management. Newer research is even indicating success at reducing risk with pre-myopic patients.

Links to further research

High myopia as a risk factor in primary open angle glaucoma.
 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3530820/

Time outdoors and the prevention of Myopia.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23644222

Myopia and associated pathological complications.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16101943

The complex interactions of retinal, optical and environmental factors in myopia aetiology.
http://www.opt.uh.edu/onlinecoursematerials/PHOP6241/Berntsen/Fall%202016/Flitcroft%202012%20Review%20Reading%20Assignment.pdf

Five-Year Clinical Trial on Atropine for the Treatment of Myopia Myopia Management with Atropine 0.01% Eyedrops.
https://www.aao.org/assets/28fe020e-5f93-4d06-aac1-889cecb15fb2/635835505202800000/atropine-for-myopia-5-yr-clinical-trial-ophthalmology-2015-pdf?inline=1

Outdoor Activity during Class Recess Reduces Myopia Onset and Progression in School Children.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23462271

Orthokeratology to manage myopia progression: a meta-analysis.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25855979

Misight presented at BCLA 2017 | myopia care.
https://www.myopiacare.com/misight-presented-bcla-2017/

Defocus Incorporated Soft Contact (DISC) lens slows myopia progression in Hong Kong Chinese schoolchildren: a 2-year randomised clinical trial.
http://www.blinkstudy.org/images/4.pdf

Effect of Dual-Focus Soft Contact Lens Wear on Axial Myopia Progression in Children.
http://www.blinkstudy.org/images/2.pdf

Multifocal Contact Lens Myopia Management.
http://www.blinkstudy.org/images/1.pdf

siblings
What Treatments Are There For Myopia? How Does Myopia Management Work?

There are three main treatments that are used for effective Myopia Management. These are:

  • Orthokeratology (Ortho-k), also known as GVSS (Gentle Vision Shaping System) and CRT. Read more on Ortho-k+
  • Specialized soft multifocal contact lenses
  • Atropine Therapy

Each treatment option has its advantages and disadvantages. After we assess your child’s myopia, we will talk through all the options and develop a treatment plan that works best for your family.

Ortho-K, or orthokeratology goes by many names.

  • Gentle Shaping Vision System (GVSS)
  • Corneal Reshaping Therapy (CRT)
  • Vision Shaping Therapy (VST)
  • Corneal Molding (CM)

All of these treatment names are more or less the same thing. A rigid contact lens is custom-made for your child’s eyes by our Washington, D.C Myopia Management experts. These special lenses are worn at night by your child. As your child sleeps, the lenses gently reshape the cornea of the eyes. This reshaping corrects the elongation of the eye which causes the myopia. What this means is that the wearer won’t need glasses or contact lenses during the day at all — an especially appealing option for kids who don’t want to wear glasses or young athletes. What’s more, ortho-k has been proven to be highly effective at slowing and halting the progression of myopia, so it also is protecting your child’s adult vision while freeing them from glasses in the here and now.

Ortho-k allows adults and children alike to wake up with their vision adjusted, without the need to wear glasses or contacts during the day. For children, Ortho-k has been proven effective at slowing and even halting the progression of Myopia.

Ortho-k for Adults: A Safe Vision Correction Alternative to LASIK Surgery
Because corneal reshaping allows the wearer to see without glasses or contacts during the day, more and more adults are also being fitted for ortho-k. This could be for social or lifestyle reasons. Ortho-k is also appealing to certain professions such as:

  • Construction workers
  • Law Enforcement
  • Athletes
  • Pilots
  • Long-distance drivers

Ortho-k is an effective and non-surgical alternative to LASIK, and will often work for people who, for whatever reason, don’t want or don’t qualify for LASIK surgery. Read more on Ortho-k+

Another way myopia can be managed is by using soft, multifocal contact lenses, which your child wears during the day. By altering the near, middle, and peripheral focus, in addition to correcting distance vision, the eyes are forced to adjust. This slows down the elongation in the eye overtime and is an effective means to manage myopia.

Atropine is a medicated drop, the very same which is used to dilate the eyes for an exam. In micro-doses (around 0.01%), atropine has been found to be highly effective at reducing myopia with no discernable side effects. Atropine Therapy is safe, and an ideal choice for children who are too young to begin ortho-k. What’s more, atropine can be effectively combined with other methods of myopia management. Newer research is even indicating success at reducing risk with pre-myopic patients.

Links to further research

High myopia as a risk factor in primary open angle glaucoma.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3530820/

Time outdoors and the prevention of Myopia.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23644222

Myopia and associated pathological complications.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16101943

The complex interactions of retinal, optical and environmental factors in myopia aetiology.
http://www.opt.uh.edu/onlinecoursematerials/PHOP6241/Berntsen/Fall%202016/Flitcroft%202012%20Review%20Reading%20Assignment.pdf

Five-Year Clinical Trial on Atropine for the Treatment of MyopiaMyopia Management with Atropine 0.01% Eyedrops.
https://www.aao.org/assets/28fe020e-5f93-4d06-aac1-889cecb15fb2/635835505202800000/atropine-for-myopia-5-yr-clinical-trial-ophthalmology-2015-pdf?inline=1

Outdoor Activity during Class Recess Reduces Myopia Onset and Progression in School Children.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23462271

Orthokeratology to manage myopia progression: a meta-analysis.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25855979

Misight presented at BCLA 2017 | myopia care.
https://www.myopiacare.com/misight-presented-bcla-2017/

Defocus Incorporated Soft Contact (DISC) lens slows myopia progression in Hong Kong Chinese schoolchildren: a 2-year randomised clinical trial.
http://www.blinkstudy.org/images/4.pdf

Effect of Dual-Focus Soft Contact Lens Wear on Axial Myopia Progression in Children.
http://www.blinkstudy.org/images/2.pdf

Multifocal Contact Lens Myopia Management.
http://www.blinkstudy.org/images/1.pdf

What Our Patients Are Saying...
Meet Our Washington, D.C Myopia Management Optometrists
rosenblatt-e1472848513716

Michael P. Rosenblatt, OD

Michael P. Rosenblatt, OD has been a part of this practice since 1990. A graduate of Old Dominion University and the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Dr. Rosenblatt has also participated in numerous clinical investigations for new contact lens products, and has published widely in the field. In his role as...
Friedman-Photo_cropped2

Andrea Friedman, OD

Andrea Friedman is a third generation optometrist from New Jersey, following in the footsteps of her grandfather and parents. She received her Doctor of Optometry degree from the State University of New York College of Optometry. Dr. Friedman is also a proud alumnus of the University of Michigan (Go Blue!), where...
Meet Our Washington, D.C Myopia Management Optometrists
rosenblatt-e1472848513716

Michael P. Rosenblatt, OD

Michael P. Rosenblatt, OD has been a part of this practice since 1990. A graduate of Old Dominion University and the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Dr. Rosenblatt has also participated in numerous clinical investigations for new contact lens products, and has published widely in the field. In his role as...
Friedman-Photo_cropped2

Andrea Friedman, OD

Andrea Friedman is a third generation optometrist from New Jersey, following in the footsteps of her grandfather and parents. She received her Doctor of Optometry degree from the State University of New York College of Optometry. Dr. Friedman is also a proud alumnus of the University of Michigan (Go Blue!), where...

Serving Patients From:
Serving Patients From:

Dr. Michael Rosenblatt is dedicated to protecting the long term vision health of children. Because of the overwhelming evidence now available proving the dangers of myopia, Dr. Michael Rosenblatt founded The Myopia Management Center At Washington Eye Doctors in order to provide the most advanced and effective myopia management throughout Washington, D.C.

The Myopia Management Center At Washington Eye Doctors proudly provides advanced pediatric eyecare for patients from Washington, D.C