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Treatment Options for Myopia

Gwiazda, Jane*

Optometry and Vision Science: June 2009 - Volume 86 - Issue 6 - p 624-628
doi: 10.1097/OPX.0b013e3181a6a225

Myopia is a significant public health problem and its prevalence may be increasing over time. The main treatment options of single vision spectacle lenses, contact lenses, and refractive surgery do not slow the accompanying eye growth or retard the physiological changes associated with excessive axial elongation. High myopia is a predisposing factor for retinal detachment, myopic retinopathy, and glaucoma, contributing to loss of vision and blindness. The high prevalence of myopia and its prominence as a public health problem emphasize the importance of finding effective treatments that slow myopia progression and axial elongation. Treatments that have been investigated include various types of spectacle lenses and contact lenses, as well as pharmaceutical agents such as atropine and pirenzepine. The bulk of evidence from well-conducted studies shows that overall, most therapies for myopia have small treatment benefits that last for a relatively short period of time or have significant side effects. Some therapies may be more effective in subsets of myopic children. This review of treatment options for myopia will emphasize recent results from well-designed clinical studies and will suggest possible future therapies.


Department of Vision Science, The New England College of Optometry, Boston, Massachusetts.

Received September 16, 2008; accepted October 30, 2008.

© 2009 American Academy of Optometry