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Severe Myopia
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Severe Myopia

My son is now 6 years old and is a -15 in both eyes.  We noticed a problem at age 1 and at that time he was a -9.  Stickler Syndrome has been ruled out.  There seems to be nothing else wrong with my son except severe myopia.  I am very worried about what the future will hold.  How common is this?  Isn't there any surgeries to correct this for children?  Who are the top doctors in the U.S. who deal with this? Please help!
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how common is it?  not very common.  but having been diagnosed that early means his prognosis is pretty good.  he will likely not experience refractive amblyopia, although he could still experience retinal problems.

IMO he does not need a super-specialist that would require long travel distances.  he probably does need to see a retinal specialist annually, since he is at increased risk of retinal holes/tears and detachment b/c of his amount of myopia.  he probably also needs to see a pediatric optometrist or ophthalmologist and IMO get fitted for CONTACT LENSES as soon as possible.  preferably daily wear rigid gas permeable contacts with very high oxygen transmission.  it is a long story related to optics, but he will always see significantly better through contact lenses than he ever will through any glasses (not every rx is like this...some people see better with glasses than they do with contacts.  but not your son...he will always see significantly better with CONTACTS).  since he is so young, you will likely be instilling the lenses in the morning for him and removing them at night, as well as cleaning the lenses until he is old enough and responsible enough to do it himself.  but the visual outcome in his case would probably be dramatic.  he would most likely instantly see significantly better.  if it were my son i'd put him in contacts asap because the potential benefits greatly outweigh the possible risks IMO.  is he already wearing contacts?  i do not think he should ever wear soft non-silicone lenses.

he will never be a candidate for lasik or any corneal procedure.  he could have implantable contact lenses (anterior chamber intra-ocular lenses) as an adult to decrease or eliminate his dependence on glasses/contacts.
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Hi Michele1973,

As a mother with a child with Severe Myopia, I know exactly how you feel.

Our son was diagnosed with Severe Pathological Myopia @ 2 years of age.  We took him to numerous doctors after doctors to no avail for alternative treatment since the conventional treatment had no significant impact. So we decided to do our own research in the hope of finding a safe & alternative treatment. With -21D on his left eye and -13D on his right, laser surgery was not an option nor were glasses. We also tried contact lenses but to no avail given his age (trying to convince a young child to wear them - more so trying to put them on) but we did try this for a while. 2001 we were able to find treatment for him which is now widely used and FDA approved in the US for Severe Myopia suffers known as Artiflex. He's had Artiflex surgery in his left eye for 5 years now. Post op not only did it improve his left eye, his right eye also improved. He's now 7 and since his surgery he's been doing fine and getting along with life just like any 7 years old. He's still wearing glasses for his right eye, but his left eye is doing well since having the Artiflex.

Of course he continues to see and looked after by his ophthalmologist on a regular basis.

I hope that this gives some parents out there hope and some kind of guidance in particularly for those who have children suffering with severe myopia conditions. There's not enough information out there to guide and support parents...we know, we've been there....However rare this condition is, there is a lack of information and awareness out there. With more info and support out there....could save somebody's vision.
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Michelle 1973

Where do you live?  A pediatric ophthalmologist or a Retinal specialist is who you need to take your child. to. Yes the Verisyse lens (Phakic IOL here in the US) is available and there are some doctors trained across the country. Go to www.visioninfocus.com to find a doctor in your area or ask me. I know alot of Doctors across the country as I have worked for ophthalmologists all over the country.
Good Luck to you and yours. Keep us posted.
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A related discussion, It is any cure for a severe myopia? was started.
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A related discussion, Severe myopia for my child was started.
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