Statistics from the World Health Organization reveal that there are 1.89 billion people worldwide who are affected by myopia. Unfortunately, this visual impairment brought about by uncorrected refractive errors is becoming more prevalent because it has not received the needed attention for assessment, prevention, and treatment.
However, times have changed. And today, advancement in technology gave way to several treatment options that can deter the progression of myopia. Among these treatments are ortho k and gene therapy.
With the increasing methods of treating myopia, you can now make choices with regards to how you want to improve your vision and say goodbye to near-sightedness.
Myopia or near-sightedness is one of the most common visual impairments that people suffer from. This condition makes faraway objects look blurry, while those that are near are clear.
A number of medicated eye drops have been available to treat myopia. But now, more effective medicines are developed specifically for this condition.
One of these is the topical atropine drops that are used to dilate the pupils and help slow the progression of eye impairment. However, the mechanism of action of atropine drops remains unknown.
Refractive approaches to treating myopia focus on emmetropization or the matching of eye growth to optical power.
Under refractive methods are the following:
- Orthokeratology. Gas-permeable lenses are worn in the process of orthokeratology or ortho k. These contact lenses are rigid and need to be worn several hours a day to even out the curvature of your eye. Once the desired curvature is achieved, the lenses are worn less frequently for maintenance. This procedure shows evidence of effective reduction of myopia.
- Multifocal contact lenses. This type of lens, which is typically used by people 40 years and older, is now being used to correct vision in children. In the process, the progression of myopia is also delayed. Multifocal lenses have two basic parts that focus on light. The middle portion is the one responsible for correcting near vision, thereby making faraway objects clearer.
- Refractive surgery. For myopia, refractive surgery includes techniques that reduce the cornea’s curvature or what is referred to as corneal refractive surgery. Excimer laser treatment belongs to this treatment option. And it works to remove corneal stroma, thereby reducing the cornea’s refractive power and bringing the focus of an object onto the retina instead of on the front. Under excimer laser treatment are specific surgeries that include LASIK (laser-assisted stromal in situ keratomileusis), LASEK (laser-assisted subepithelial keratomileusis), and PRK (photorefractive keratectomy).
Gene Therapy Intervention
Duke University Medical Center scientists have discovered a gene associated with myopia in Caucasian people. The specific RASGRF1 gene directly associated with vision errors is found to have several distinct spellings of DNA quite like it.
But while the discovery of this gene does not make treatment readily available, research shows the great probability of gene therapy intervention as a successful treatment for myopia.
Now, myopia is receiving the attention it deserves. And treatment options like ortho k have increased the chances for better eyesight and lesser complications.
The world is only moving forward with regard to technology. And the medical advancement this brings gives people hope for a more comfortable and fully functional life.
Now, it is up to you to choose the type of treatment you want to stop myopia and other refractive errors from fully impairing your vision.