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Is Myopia Reversible?

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In recent years, the prevalence of myopia, or nearsightedness, has seen a noteworthy increase among children. While you can’t reverse myopia, there are ways to prevent myopia progression. 

Understanding myopia is crucial for patients and parents alike, not only for current management but also for future eye health. Regular children’s eye exams can help with early detection and implementation of myopia control methods to reduce the risk of eye diseases later in life. 

What Is Myopia?

Myopia is a common refractive error in which distant objects appear blurry. It occurs when the eyeball is too long, or the cornea (the clear front part of the eye) is too curved, causing light rays to focus in front of the retina (the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye) instead of directly on its surface.

A common sign of myopia is the need to sit closer to the television, screen, or the front of the classroom. Myopia symptoms can include:

  • Blurry distant vision
  • Squinting
  • Eye strain
  • Tired or sore eyes
  • Headaches

Causes of Myopia

Myopia can have several causes, including both genetic and environmental factors. Having one or both parents with myopia increases a child’s risk of becoming myopic. Extensive near work, like reading or prolonged screen time, combined with limited outdoor activities, can contribute to myopia development and progression.

Myopia in Children

Children can develop myopia as early as 6 years. During early childhood and into adolescence, the eyes can grow rapidly, causing myopia to progress to severe or high myopia. High myopia can increase the risk of developing sight-threatening eye diseases later and can include:

  • Retinal detachment: This occurs when the retina pulls from its position at the back of the eye and can result in vision loss. 
  • Glaucoma: This occurs when increased eye pressure damages the optic nerve at the back of the eye and can result in vision loss. 
  • Cataracts: These occur when the eye’s lens becomes cloudy, causing blurry or hazy vision and vision loss over time. 
  • Myopic macular degeneration: This condition occurs with severe myopia. It occurs when the retina stretches and causes cells in the macular at the center of the retina to degenerate, resulting in blind spots or loss of central vision. 

Early detection and intervention are keys to managing myopia in children. Regular eye exams can detect myopia early and help prevent severe progression. Parents play a vital role in their children’s eye health, from encouraging participation in outdoor activities to effectively managing near work, like screen time.

Can Myopia Be Reversed?

High myopia is irreversible but can be managed effectively to prevent further progression. Research continues to evolve, offering hope for future interventions. However, until then, controlling its progression through available treatments and lifestyle changes is crucial.

Myopia Management & Treatment Options

A little girl wearing eyeglasses with an eye chart in the background.

Traditional treatments for myopia include corrective lenses such as glasses and contact lenses to correct vision. However, these treatment methods don’t cure myopia or prevent it from progressing. Myopia control methods can slow myopia progression by reducing axial eye growth


Orthokeratology, or Ortho-K, are specialized contact lenses worn overnight to help reshape the cornea while you sleep without needing vision correction during the day. These lenses can prevent myopia from worsening. However, the effects of Ortho-K lenses are temporary, as eyes can revert to their original shape if you stop wearing them at night. 

Atropine Eye Drops

Prescription medication, such as low-dose atropine eye drops, can potentially slow myopia progression and prevent the eye from lengthening. 

Multifocal Contact Lenses

Multifocal contact lenses contain multiple prescriptions for seeing up close and at a distance. They can also have an outer portion with defocus that blurs peripheral or side vision, which is believed to contribute to eye growth. 

Practical Tips for Myopia Prevention & Management

Myopia control methods, combined with lifestyle changes, can significantly manage and reduce myopia progression in children:

  • Limit time spent on near work, such as screen time. Encourage regular breaks using the 20-20-20 rule (every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds).
  • Promote outdoor activities. Increased time outdoors in natural light is linked to protective benefits against myopia onset.
  • Maintain a balanced diet and get enough sleep. 
  • Have regular eye exams. Early detection is critical for managing myopia effectively.

Myopia Management for Healthy, Clear Vision

Understanding myopia is the first step towards effective management and prevention of progression. By exploring traditional and control measures and making lifestyle adjustments, individuals and children with myopia can lead a life with a clearer vision. 

While myopia isn’t reversible, you can control myopia progression with the right approach. We encourage everyone, especially parents, to take an active role in eye care and prioritize regular eye exams for themselves and their children. Book your appointment with the Eye Care Center of Colorado Springs to explore a myopia management plan for you or your child.

Written by Eye Care Center of Colorado Springs

Our beautiful office is located in a historic building. Built in 1902, the building was originally used as a carriage house until it was acquired in the 1930s by the Van Dyke Motor Company and turned into a repair shop for Studebaker vehicles. As a nod to the building’s past, the original Van Dyke sign remains in place to this day. The original 12-foot sliding barn doors, integral for carriage house operations, now separate our retail space from our clinical space.
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