What is Myopia?
Myopia, commonly known as short-sightedness is the inability to see distant objects clearly. This means that things such as television and white boards at school will be difficult to see.
In a normal eye the object focussed an image on the retina to give clear vision. Myopia occurs when the eye grow too long (axial length) or the parts of the eye which focus the light are too powerful. In a myopic eye the image is focused in front of the retina, creating blurred vision.
An estimated 5 billion people, or half the population, could be affected by short-sightedness by 20501.
What causes Myopia?
Research shows that more time spent on near-work activities is associated with a greater likelihood of myopia2
There are other factors to consider too, such as;
Genetics: If one or more parents has myopia
Behavioural: Spending less time outdoors, spending more time indoors doing increased close work such as reading, using digital devices.
Ethnicity: The prevalence of myopia in Asia is approx 60-70%
Why Manage Myopia?
Acting early in the diagnosis of myopia not only helps to improve their vision now, but can help slow the progression of myopia and preserve vision and eye health for the future.
Due to the increased length of a myopic eye, the incidence of conditions such as glaucoma, myopic macular degeneration and retinal detachment increase with the level myopia.
Myopia management is a long term treatment plan for children and teenagers to manage and slow the growth of myopia to reduce the risk of such conditions later in life.
How can you slow the progression of Myopia?
Up until now conventional spectacle lenses have helped to correct the visual symptoms of myopia, making vision clearer.
More recently, the use of specially designed spectacle lenses and contact lenses have been proven to correct vision AND help to slow the progression of myopia by up to 60% on average.
Learn more about:
What else can I do to help?
To further help slow the progression of myopia in growing children you can encourage your child to;
Spend more time outdoors, a minimum of 2 hours per day.
Take regular breaks from long intensive screen time or near work like reading.3
Take note of ergonomics, such as suitable lighting, posture and keeping the recommended working distance which are all very important to keep eyes healthy while doing near work.
Have regular eye examinations to ensure myopia and other vision conditions are detected so they can can be treated as soon as possible.
Children should have regular eye examinations regardless of whether they are showing symptoms or not.
Book your child's next eye check in if:
They have not had their eyes tested in the last year
Are complaining of headaches, eyes hurting or saying they cannot see very well.
If you have been told your child has myopia or is short sighted and has not been advised about myopia management options, please get in contact so we can discuss these options with you. Have their prescription to hand so we can understand the level of their vision.
To book an appointment or to speak to our knowledgeable team about myopia control call us today.
1. Dolgin E. The myopia boom. Nature. 03/2015, vol 519, no 7543, p.276-278
2. Huang H-M, Chang DS-T, Wu P-C. The Association between Near Work Activities and Myopia in Children—A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. 2015. PLoS ONE 10(10): e0140419. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0140419