Myopia (nearsightedness) affects over 100 million people in the United States. The number of people who have this condition have grown locally and globally, sometimes causing functional blindness in third world countries where access to eyecare is limited. This global increase cannot be completely explained by heredity. Therefore the environment in which we live in plays a role as well.
With the increase in prevalence and severity of myopia, patients are more at risk for glaucoma, myopic macular degeneration, cataracts, retinal holes, retinal tears and retinal detachments.
How can we control or stabilize the prescription from increasing? There are several ways to achieve this -- multifocal contacts, eye drops and corneal reshaping (orthokeratology). Studies have shown that bifocal glasses, progressive glasses or undercorrection of the prescription have little to no benefit.