Inside Columbia


Missouri Eye Consultants

By Inside Columbia
Dr. Jacqueline Byrd

What can I do to address my child’s progressing nearsightedness?

Interventions are now available to slow down the progression of myopia, which in kids, tends to result in a higher prescription for your child year after year. This not only has a significant impact on day-to-day activities but puts a child at greater risk for sight-threatening eye health problems later in life. Missouri Eye Consultants offers treatment options collectively known as myopia control. These options include specialty contacts lenses and nightly eye drops.

Dr. Jacqueline Byrd

Myopia is the clinical name for nearsightedness, the ability to see well up close but have blurry distance vision. It results from the eyeball growing longer than it should which causes incoming light to be focused on the wrong location. 

As children grow, their eyes continue to grow as well, resulting in progression of their myopia throughout childhood. Myopia is caused by both genetics and lifestyle: Having parents who are myopic increases a child’s risk, along with environmental factors such as more up-close work (using devices like cellphones or tablets) and less time outdoors. 

Dr. Jacqueline Byrd says now that the technology exists to do something about myopia, which has become a global epidemic, the practice “feels a responsibility to our patients to provide it.” Not all levels of myopia are created equally. As the amount of myopia increases, the risk of eye diseases like cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment and myopic maculopathy increase. For parents, the best time to act is when your child has a low amount of myopia. “We can’t go back and undo what’s already done, but we can reduce progression going forward.” 

In addition to myopia management, the practice offers comprehensive eye care — everything from glasses and contact lenses to management of disease by both optometrists and ophthalmologists who provide cataract surgery and specialized care. Missouri Eye Consultants has offices in two locations in Columbia, as well as in Macon, Moberly, Montgomery City, Ashland and California.

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