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optometrist, Girl smiling under myopia management in Long Grove, IL

Forsight Vision For Myopia Management

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 (also called myopia) 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, research now shows that any amount of myopia is dangerous.

At Forsight Vision, we specialize in providing the greater Long Grove, Illinois area with effective, specialized treatment to control the progression of myopia. By stopping or even halting myopia progression, long-term risks are reduced, to best ensure that your child enjoys seeing the world with healthy eyes throughout his or her life.

How to Diminish the Progression of Myopia

Well, there are a few different options that we usually employ:

One of which is the primary way to help with myopia progression is called corneal refractive therapy. That’s where you sleep with a hard contact lens at night and it corrects your vision while you sleep.

So, in a matter of 10 days to 2 weeks, the child (or adult for that matter) no longer needs to wear glasses or contacts during the day. The eyes wear the contact lenses at night and it corrects your vision while you sleep.

It reduces nearsightedness to up to 7 times – which is really phenomenal! I have a patient who just graduated college, and he has the exact same prescription as he had when he was in the fourth grade.

CRT has been FDA approved for about 17 years already. The lens itself was developed by NASA – so it’s a very breathable material. The risk of infection is extremely low and it’s quite comfortable. In fact, in our office we start seeing patients as early as 8 years old to reduce their near sight progression.

Frequently Asked Questions About Myopia

eye care, young child managing her myopia eye care in Long Grove, IL
What Is Myopia?

Myopia, also referred to as being nearsighted, is a condition where light from objects in the distance focuses in the front part of the eye instead of on the retina — where it should be focused. This causes distance vision to distort and become blurry. Myopia starts in childhood and progressively deteriorates into young adulthood.

eye exam, boy with glasses with progressive myopia in Long Grove, IL
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 most often presented in visual forms, progressive 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.

eye doctor, young girl with myopia in Long Grove, IL
What Causes Myopia?

Myopic vision happens 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.

optometrist, girl wearing glasses with myopia in Long Grove, IL
When Should My Child Start Myopia Control?

The more advanced the myopia is, the greater the risks. Therefore, our Long Grove, Illinois Myopia Control Experts recommend starting Myopia Control as early as age 8. 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.

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 the diagnosis rates for myopia are drastically on the rise throughout the world. Over 10 million American children now have myopia—that's nearly double the incidence rate of myopia compared to only a two 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 in the world, with that figure expected to rise.

Treating Nearsightedness With Glasses Or Contact Lenses, Isn’t That Enough?

Corrective lenses such as those prescribed with standard glasses or contact lenses, refocuses light to the appropriate place on the retina, to correct the myopia. This is what allows a nearsighted person 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 actually dangerous to our visual health over time. In recent years, 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. These conditions include: Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, and Retinal Detachment.

  • Cataracts and Myopia A child with medium to high myopia is five times more likely to develop cataracts in his or her lifetime. Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye clouds over and makes vision difficult or even impossible.
  • Glaucoma and Myopia Rates of glaucoma increase dramatically in children with myopia. A child with medium-high myopia is three 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 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 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 pulls away from the layers beneath it. This causes lost fields of visions, flashes of light, floaters, and even total loss of eyesight.
  • Myopic Macular Degeneration Myopia 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 Control Appointment

eye care, girl with myopia controlling with contacts in Long Grove, IL

How your child can massively reduce the progression of myopia

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 Forsight Vision, Dr. Todd Cohan & Dr. Jacqueline Cozzone 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 type of treatment will minimize the risks to your child’s long-term vision.

Your child CAN massively reduce the progression of myopia

Increasing time outdoors is a really wonderful thing to slow down the risk of progression of nearsightedness.

It’s gonna progress every year just because of all the schooling children do with all their devices, but just going outside makes a big difference. In fact, in China, about 5 years ago, they did nothing more than just double the children’s recess. Instead of one 45-minute recess, they gave them two seperate 45-minute recesses throughout the day.

As scary as it sounds – because it’s pretty astonishing – it actually reduced nearsightedness progression by almost a third, just by going outside and letting the eyes refocus by looking at across the playground and being in natural sunlight.

Those things that we all did as youngsters until mom would call us for dinner just isn’t happening these days because of all of the computers, gaming – everything. So, going outside and increasing outdoor activities is wonderful for the eyes, the heart and the body as well.

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 Long Grove 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. The wearer won’t need glasses or contact lenses during the day at all — an especially appealing option for kids who don’t like wearing 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 the treatment is also protecting your child’s adult vision while freeing them from glasses in the here and now.

Ortho-k allows adults and children 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 are other advanced treatments for myopia, besides Ortho-K?

As of late, there’s been a lot of nearsightedness studies being conducted as we speak at universities across the world. A couple of alternative treatments, aside from the Corneal Refractive Therapy or Orthokeratology (as some call it) are fitting children with bifocal soft contact lenses.

Bifocal soft contact lenses allows the eye to relax the extra focusing when they are looking up close. It doesn’t slow down nearsightedness as drastically as Corneal Refractive Therapy, where they wear the hard contacts at night every night. But it does reduce the incidence of it progressing as fast. In China, were about 80% of the population is nearsighted, they’re also doing studies with bifocal glasses in children for those who can’t wear soft contacts.

Another opportunity that is coming out lately is what’s called Atropine Therapy. That is when you use different eye drops at night. You put them at night and over a course of several months, it will reduce the focusing a little bit to help with the nearsightedness progression also.

What Our Patients Are Saying...

Meet Our Myopia Control Optometrists

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Dr. Jacqueline Cozzone O.D.

Dr. Jacqueline Cozzone is excited to join Forsight Vision and serve patients of all ages in the Long Grove community. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Biology/Pre-optometry from Augustana College, she earned her Doctorate at the Illinois College of Optometry in 2018. Her rotational experience provided her with advanced knowledge...
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Dr. Todd Cohan OD

Todd Cohan, O.D. is a graduate of Indiana University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. He earned both a Bachelor of Science degree in visual science and his Doctor of Optometry degree from the Illinois College of Optometrists (ICO) and was the sole recipient of ICO’s...
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Dr. Todd Cohan & Dr. Jacqueline Cozzone are dedicated to protecting the long term vision health of children. Because of the overwhelming evidence now available proving the dangers of myopia, Forsight Vision is focused on providing the most advanced and effective myopia control throughout Illinois.

Forsight Vision Proudly Provides Advanced Myopia Control To Patients From:

Long Grove | Buffalo Grove | Arlington Heights | Palatine | and the State of Illinois