MYOPIA CONTROL FOR ADULTS
As an adult, is there anything that can stop my eyes getting worse?
Many adults have deteriorating far-distance vision with short-sightedness well into their mid to late 20s, even though they were told their eyes would start to stabilise after age 18. Some adults even have 'adult onset' myopia, where their vision only started to worsen in adulthood after having perfect vision in their childhood and teenage years.
WHY ARE MY EYES STILL GETTING WORSE?
Adult myopia progression is believed to be associated with increased amounts of near work causing strain in the eye's focusing system, rather than eye growth as occurs in children. Many adults experience vision deterioration corresponding to their tertiary studies and spending more time in front of computer screens and digital devices for work. An average adult spends as much as 8.5 hours per day looking into screens.
Unfortunately there is little data available on adult myopia progression from current research. For adults, we extrapolate what we know from the vast amounts of published research on childhood myopia control strategies. Reducing eyestrain and focusing demands on the eyes while doing near work is considered, at present, the best approach to managing progressive myopia in young adults.
Many adults have eye teaming issues and focusing inefficiencies that create additional strain on their eyes as they read, use their computer and their smartphone. Near esophoria (a tendency for the eyes to over-converge when viewing up-close) and accommodative lag (a tendency for the eyes to misfocus behind a near object) are two eye issues often missed by optometrists during routine eye tests. Both of these conditions are linked to myopia development and progression.
As a result of this, many adult patients are simply wearing single-vision distance glasses or regular contact lenses that can even be contributing to their myopia progression, due to their inherent optical properties and negative effects on close-up focusing compounding their existing eye teaming issues. The consequence is increased eyestrain at near and further deterioration in far-distance vision over time.
For young adults with significant myopia progression, we recommend one of the following: Multifocal glasses, multifocal contact lenses, or Ortho-K vision correction.
Multifocal glasses help with close-up focusing by reducing the amount of work the eye's focusing system needs to do. Additional reading power in the lower half of the lenses do some of the focusing work for you, improving visual comfort. Multifocal lenses have a gradual change of power from the distance zone to the near zone, without any dividing lines.
For those who prefer the convenience of not wearing glasses, multifocal daytime contact lenses and Ortho-K overnight vision correction also assist in close-up focusing, improving eye teaming efficiency and reducing eyestrain at near. Ortho-K treatment has been shown in research to reduce near esophoria and accommodative lag.
If your distance vision has been getting worse as an adult, see us for a comprehensive assessment of your eyes and focusing efficiency, to determine if you can benefit from one of these options to help control your myopia progression and stop your eyes from further deterioration.
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