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The Myopia Management Center At Family Eye & Laser In Troy, Luverne, Enterprise, and Ozark, Alabama

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 and 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 , we specialize in providing the greater Troy, Alabama area with effective, specialized treatment to control 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.

Frequently Asked Questions About Myopia

young child managing her myopia eye care
What Is Myopia?

Myopia, also referred to as being nearsighted, is a condition where light from objects in the distance focuses in the front of the eye instead of where it’s supposed to focus - the retina. This causes distance vision to distort and become blurry. Myopia starts in childhood and progressively deteriorates into young adulthood.

boy with glasses with progressive myopia
What Is Progressive Myopia?

Because myopia is very often progressive, distance vision continues to get worse and worse. This means your child constantly needs an updated stronger prescription and new glasses or contacts. The progression of myopia often outpaces your child’s eye exams. Since learning is by and large visual, myopia 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

High, moderate and low correspond to how far the myopia has progressed; in other words, how strong a prescription is needed. Therefore, the higher the rate of myopia and progression, the greater the risks to your child’s vision.

young girl with myopia
What Causes Myopia?

Myopic vision is caused when the eye becomes elongated 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 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.

girl wearing glasses with myopia
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.

The 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.

Treating 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.

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 a condition where the lens of the eye clouds over and makes vision difficult or even impossible.
  • Glaucoma and MyopiaRates of glaucoma increase dramatically in children with myopia. A child with medium-high myopia is 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 DangerousNew 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 DegenerationMyopia occurs because the eye 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 times greater increased risk of developing macular degeneration. The risk rises to 126 times for children with high myopia.

Control The Progression Of Your Child’s Myopia.

Book A Myopia Management Appointment

girl with myopia controlling with contacts

What Is Myopia Management?

In recent years, a number of advanced methods have been developed to control myopia. Unlike glasses or regular contact lenses, the goal of myopia control is to slow or even halt the progression of myopia entirely. At , our doctors 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 Troy, Luverne, Enterprise, and Ozark, Alabama Myopia Control Experts recommend starting Myopia Control 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.

Which Treatments Are Available For Myopia?

Which Treatments Are Available For Myopia? How Does Myopia Control Work?

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

  • Orthokeratology (Ortho-k), also known as GVSS (Gentle Vision Shaping System) and CRT
  • 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.

What Is Ortho-K?

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 Troy Myopia Control 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 is also 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.

Controlling Myopia With Multifocal Soft Contact Lenses

Another way myopia can be controlled 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 over time and is an effective means to control myopia.

Atropine Therapy

Atropine is a medicated drop, the same one 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 discernible 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 control. Newer research is even indicating success at reducing risk with pre-myopic patients.

Orthokeratology For Athletes

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Orthokeratology For Athletes

If you’re active in sports like basketball, soccer, or football, accuracy and reaction time are crucial. Finding a visual solution that leaves you free of glasses or contacts yet provides the best vision possible almost sounds unreal — meet orthokeratology.

What Our Patients Are Saying...

Meet Our Myopia Management Optometrist

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Dr. David Hamlin

Dr. David Hamlin joined Family Eye & Laser in 1998 after graduating with a Doctor of Optometry degree from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, TN. Prior to that, he attended Troy State University where he received his BS in biology in 1993.  He is a Methodist preacher's son and...
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Dr. Mary Kate Moring

Dr. Mary Kate Moring joined Family Eye & Laser in 2013. She holds a Doctor of Optometry degree from the Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Prior to her education there, she attended Enterprise State Community College and Auburn University where she received her BS in Biomedical...
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Dr. Samara Perryman

Dr. Samara Perryman completed her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biomedical Sciences at Auburn University. She went on to receive her Doctor of Optometry Degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry where she won the 2017 Alabama Optometric Association Leadership Award and the 2017 Good-Lite Award...
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Dr. Tammy Wallace

Dr. Tammy Wallace is a Pensacola native who grew up in Southwest Mississippi. She holds a Doctor of Optometry degree from the Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry in Fort Lauderdale, FL as well as a Bachelor of Vision Science.  She did an externship at the Miami VA and was...
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Dr. William T. Gannon

We are pleased to add the expert surgical services of Dr. William Gannon for cataracts, glaucoma, and general ophthalmology. Dr. Gannon will utilize our new laser technology to conveniently perform a wide range of diagnostic, perioperative, and post-operative care in our Troy office. Dr. William Gannon, a native of Dothan...
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Dr. Warren Thompson

We are pleased to add the expert surgical services of Dr. Warren Thompson for patients with retinal disease. Dr. Thompson will utilize our new laser technology to conveniently perform a wide range of diagnostic, perioperative, and post-operative care in our Troy office. Dr. Warren Thompson is a board certified ophthalmologist...
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Dr. Allen Dunn

  Dr. Allen Dunn is a native of Troy graduating from Charles Henderson High in 1976. He attended the University of Alabama Birmingham on an academic scholarship graduating in 3 years with honors. He then entered the School of Optometry at the University of Alabama Birmingham graduating with honors in...

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Our doctors are dedicated to protecting the long term vision health of children. Because of the overwhelming evidence now available proving the dangers of myopia, The Myopia Management Center At Family Eye & Laser was founded in order to provide the most advanced and effective myopia control throughout Alabama.

Proudly Provides Advanced Myopia Control In:

Troy | Luverne | Enterprise | Ozark | and the State of Alabama

  • Ortho-k involves wearing specialized contact lenses while sleeping, which flatten the front surface of the eye. By reshaping the eye with these rigid, GP lenses, some cases of nearsightedness and astigmatism can be corrected.
  • If you’re active in sports like basketball, soccer, or football, accuracy and reaction time are crucial.
  • Myopia, also referred to as nearsightedness or short-sightedness, causes the eye to elongate from early childhood into the late teens.