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Myopia Management
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The Myopia Management Center at Dr. Fallon Patel and Associates In Oakville, Ontario

Does Your Child’s Prescription Seem to Be Getting Progressively Worse?

It’s more than an inconvenience; it’s a serious risk to your child’s vision.

This situation is much worse than needing increasingly stronger corrective eyeglass lenses 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 myopia.

At The Myopia Management Center at Dr. Fallon Patel and Associates, we provide the greater Oakville, Ontario area with effective, specialized treatment to control the progression of myopia. By slowing down or even stopping its progression, 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 nearsightedness, is a condition where light from objects in the distance focuses the light at the front of the eye instead of at the back - the retina. This causes distance vision to become distorted and blurry. Myopia starts in childhood and progressively deteriorates into young adulthood.

boy with glasses with progressive myopia
What Is Progressive Myopia?

Myopia tends to be progressive, which means distance vision worsens overtime, particularly between the ages of 7 and 18. This means your child requires stronger prescription and new glasses or contacts on a regular basis. It is not uncommon for myopia progression to outpace the rate of 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 myopia progression directly correlates to the risk of developing vision-threatening eye diseases, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration.

Typically, myopia is broken down into the following categories:

  • High Myopia
  • Moderate Myopia
  • Low Myopia

High, moderate and low correspond to how severe the myopia has become; in other words, how strong a prescription is needed. Therefore, the higher the severity of myopia, the greater the risks to your child’s vision down the line.

young girl with myopia
What Causes Myopia?

Myopic vision results when the eye becomes elongated and overly-curved at the front. This causes distant objects to appear blurry.

The exact cause of myopia is not entirely clear, although it seems to be a combination of genetics and the environment. More and more, evidence is pointing to two factors which seem to greatly affect incidence rates around the world: greatly reduced time outdoors and 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?

Myopia is on the rise around the world. In fact, over 10 million American children have myopia, nearly double the 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 to 40% worldwide by 2050.

Myopia is currently the 6th leading cause of blindness worldwide.

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 myopia, allowing the person to see more clearly.

However, Lenses DO NOT address the myopia itself: that is, 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?

Myopia is dangerous. In the last few years, research has conclusively shown that myopia significantly increases the likelihood of developing serious conditions which can rob your child of their vision 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 5x more likely to develop cataracts in his or her lifetime. Cataracts is a condition where the lens of the eye clouds over, rendering it difficult to see.
  • Glaucoma and Myopia Rates of glaucoma, the leading cause of blindness, dramatically increase in children with myopia. A child with medium-high myopia is 3x 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.
  • 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 21x more likely to develop retinal detachment, while those with high myopia, worse than -7, are 44x more likely to develop this serious vision condition. Retinal Detachment occurs when the retina 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 when the eye becomes increasingly elongated. If 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 can result in bleeding in the areas beneath the retina. This can lead to irreversible vision loss and blindness. Children with -5 to -7 have a 44x increased risk of developing macular degeneration. The risk rises to 126x for children with high myopia.

Control The Progression Of Your Child’s Myopia

Book a Myopia Control Appointment Today!

girl with myopia controlling with contacts

What Is Myopia Control?

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 altogether stop the progression of myopia. At The Myopia Management Center at Dr. Fallon Patel and Associates, Dr. Fallon Patel, Dr. Angela Fu, Dr. Shobitha Ratnakumar, Dr. Sandy Zhu and Siva Sivalingam will begin with a full assessment of your child’s myopia. Dr. Fallon Patel, Dr. Angela Fu, Dr. Shobitha Ratnakumar, Dr. Sandy Zhu and Siva Sivalingam will then recommend a personalized treatment plan to slow or even stop your child’s myopia from progressing. This will minimize any long-term eye health risks to your child.

When Should My Child Start Myopia Control?

The more advanced the myopia, the greater its risks. Therefore, our Oakville, Ontario Myopia Control staff recommend starting Myopia Control as soon as myopia is detected in order to stop its progression before your child’s vision deteriorates any further. This is the only way to minimize the risks associated with the refraction. It also has the added benefit of keeping your child from requiring ever stronger lenses.

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 child.

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 mean more or less the same thing. A rigid contact lens is custom-made for your child’s eyes by our Oakville Myopia Management staff. These special lenses are worn at night by your child. As your child sleeps, the lenses gently reshape the cornea of the eyes. This corrects the elongation of the eye which causes the myopia. As a result, the child won’t be required to wear glasses or contact lenses throughout the day — 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 stopping the progression of myopia, so it is also protecting your child’s adult vision while freeing them from glasses during the day. 

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.

What Our Patients Are Saying...

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Fallon Patel OD, BSc, FCOVD

Dr. Fallon Patel completed her Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Optometry with Deans Honour List from the University of Waterloo. She is an avid promoter for behavioural and developmental vision care, vision therapy, and vision rehabilitation. With this interest, Dr. Patel furthered her studies to complete a fellowship with...

Angela Fu OD

Dr. Anegla Fu graduated from the University of Waterloo, School of Optometry, International Optometric Bridging Program. She obtained her license for practicing optometry, board certification to treat and manage ocular diseases in 2012 and started to practice in Ontario since then. Dr. Fu also has a Master Degree of Ophthalmology from...

Shobitha Ratnakumar OD

Dr. Shobitha Ratnakumar received her Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences from University of Toronto. She then went on to receive her Bachelor of Science in Optometry from Aston University in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Following this she continued her training at Boots Opticians in Swindon, United Kingdom where she gained valuable...

Sandy Zhu OD

Dr. Sandy Zhu graduated from the University of Waterloo with her Optometry degree and Dean’s Honours List. She has completed an ocular therapeutics and disease rotation at the Eye Foundation of Utah in Salt Lake City where she has worked extensively with ophthalmologists and optometrists on difficult and unique cases involving...

Siva Sivalingam OD, BSc

Dr. Siva Sivalingam completed his BSc. in Biomedical Sciences with honours at the University of Waterloo and his Doctor of Optometry degree with Honours at Southern California College of Optometry. He also has completed his internships at the Los Angeles VA Medical Center and Beverly Hills Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He is...
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We are dedicated to protecting the long term vision health of children. Because of the overwhelming evidence now available proving the dangers of myopia, Dr. Fallon Patel, Dr. Angela Fu, Dr. Shobitha Ratnakumar, Dr. Sandy Zhu and Siva Sivalingam at The Myopia Management Center at Dr. Fallon Patel and Associates provide the most advanced and effective myopia control throughout Ontario.

The Myopia Management Center at Dr. Fallon Patel and Associates Proudly Provides Advanced Myopia Control In:

Oakville | Milton | Burlington | Mississauga | and throughout Ontario

  • boy studying reading.jpg
    Soft multifocal lenses can be used to halt the eye elongation responsible for myopia. This not only corrects your child’s vision, but also slows or stops myopia from progressing altogether.
  • school girl glum.jpg
    If your child's prescription is rapidly deteriorating,  Orthokeratology, or “Ortho-K,” not only corrects vision, leaving you glasses and contacts free during the day, but is also a proven method to slow down or even halt the progression of myopia.
  • child by tree.jpg
    Atropine therapy are prescription eye drops that have been shown to stop or slow down the progression of myopia (nearsightedness).