Preventing and Controlling Myopia (Nearsightedness)

At the turn of the century, just 10 to 14 percent of Americans were nearsighted. Today, the figure is close to 40 percent. Myopic changes used to stop by age 16, today optometrists find people becoming myopic in their mid to late30s. Vision scientists have found that myopia seems to be triggered by prolonged, intense near vision work. It’s often called “environmental myopia.” They have also proven several clinical approaches to prevent, reduce or limit myopic changes. What else have we learned about the triggers for myopia?

– In one major study,monkeys were confined to small cages. Over several months, the monkeys became nearsighted,a visual condition that is extremely rare in nature.

– In Peru, volunteer optometrists needed just 23 pair of glasses for myopia, but 1700 pair of glasses were required for far-sightedness or astigmatism.

– In Japan, 93 percent of graduate school students have myopia and/or other severe vision deterioration.

– In Pt. Barrow, Alaska, researchers found just one adult who was nearsighted. But among the younger people raised after compulsory education was introduced, nearly 60 percent were nearsighted.


For patients who may not wish wear eyeglass or contact lenses, Town Optical offers alternative treatments to control myopia. These include orthokeratology (also known as corneal shaping or corneal refractive therapy), atropine and special soft multifocal contacts.

Orthokeratology (OrthoK) consists of reshaping the cornea of the eye by wearing corrective contact lenses overnight, while you are sleeping. The lenses gently shape the cornea to provide a more favorable, often flatter surface for refracting light. The results can be dramatic, and many OrthoK patients can achieve vision acuity of 20/40 or better in a short time. OrthoK can also be effectively used in younger patients, who may not be comfortable wearing eyeglass or contact lenses during the day.

To find out more about myopia control please call (212) 265-4609