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More than 50% of children across the world will become myopic (nearsighted) by adulthood. Adults with moderate to high levels of myopia have an increased risk of blindness from cataracts, retinal degeneration and glaucoma.

As myopia rates increase, doctors are looking at ways to prevent children from becoming myopic. Research has shown that myopia control strategies, including eye drops, special contact lenses and glasses, can slow down or stop the progression of myopia in children.

Optometrists at Children's Mercy are well educated in these strategies and offer a myopia control program to kids at risk for this eye condition. We want the best for your child—that’s why we base our treatment plans on the most current, evidence-based research and only recommend treatment for those who truly need it.

What to expect during your first visit

 

Expect to spend about an hour and a half at your appointment in the Myopia Clinic. Your child’s eyes will be dilated at each visit. This typically takes about 30 minutes. While you wait for your child’s eyes to dilate, your optometry provider will discuss the causes of myopia and current treatment options. Then, we will evaluate your child’s eyes to review any possible myopia progression that is present during the examination.

We will look at the amount of their myopia (refraction) and measure the length of their eye. After we evaluate your child, we will discuss any treatment options that are a good fit for them based on their current needs.

Treatment Options

There are three treatment options that your child’s optometrist might recommend:

Atropine eye drops – an eye drop that is used once a day in each eye

Multifocal contact lenses – soft contact lenses worn during the day

Orthokeratology contact lenses – hard contact lenses worn overnight

Your optometrist will discuss in detail the pros and cons of each treatment option so you can decide together which course of treatment is best for your child.

Myopia research studies

Your child may be eligible to participate in a research study to help doctors better understand myopia progression. Ask your care team whether there is a current study opportunity that might be a good fit for your family. Participating in a research study is always voluntary and entirely up to your family.