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.
Myopia affects millions of children and adults, worldwide.
Myopia affects up to 40% of people by age 17.
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.
What causes Myopia
In the UK approximately 1 in 3 people are affected by myopia and it is estimated that by 2050 half the global population could be affected.
There are factors which can increase the likelihood of myopia including:
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%
Managing the progression of 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.
Unfortunately, whilst traditional spectacle lenses and contact lenses correct myopia they do not necessarily management the growth of myopia. By correcting the vision with a traditional lens the natural pathway of light is changed to focus upon the central retina creating perishable blur, which is consciously noticed by the wearer. In turn the growing eye compensates for the peripheral blur by growing in length and the myopia increases giving rise for the need for stronger (thicker and heavier) corrective lenses. This cycle continues in to adult where the myopia may then begin to stabilise.
Future risk factors for the Myopic eye...
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.
What are the solutions?
Thankfully at Clark Family Eyecare there are solutions for myopia management from an early age including spectacle lenses and contact lenses.
These solutions are not yet funded by the NHS. To make the options for myopia management available to all you can choose to pay as you go or join a monthly management plan which spreads the cost and includes lots of benefits.
Take action now
There are simple ways to help all children no matter their vision level but particularly, in conjunction with, myopia management plans you should:
To discuss your child's needs and whether myopia management may benefit them and which options would be best, get in touch with us today
1. Spend more time outdoors, minimum 2 hours a day.
2. Take breaks from long intensive screen time or near-work.
3. Take note of ergonomics, such as proper lighting, posture, keeping the recommended working distance are very important to keep your eyes healthy while doing the near-work.
4. Get regular eye check-ups to ensure that myopia or other vision problems are detected and treated early, reducing the worsening of vision, myopia progression and potential complications of high myopia.