Myopia, or nearsightedness, is increasing at an alarming rate, according to the World Health Organization. Responding to the rising number of children with blurry vision caused by myopia, the University Eye Institute at the University of Houston is offering a Myopia Management Service to correct and manage nearsightedness in children.

“Thirty-three percent of the world’s population has myopia, but that is expected to increase to 50 percent by the year 2050,” said Matt Kauffman, director of the Myopia Management Service.

Myopia typically appears in elementary school-aged children and can be associated with long-term problems such as glaucoma and macular degeneration.

“Vision tends to stabilize early to mid-teenage years so we want to catch this progression before it gets to the point where it causes complications,” Kauffman said.

The service is the first of its kind in Texas and offers treatments including special eye drops and contact lenses worn at night to reshape the eye and slow the progression of myopia.

“Current options slow myopia progression by 40-50 percent,” Kauffman said.

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