Myopia can no longer be considered just simple short sightedness with the usual prescribing of basic glasses or contact lenses. It is a condition with very serious potential side effects and increased risk of future eye disease. It is important to take a preventative approach by ways of myopia control so we are able to slow down and control the progression of myopia.
What is Myopia?
Myopia or short-sightedness is a common vision condition in which you can see objects close to you clearly, but objects that are far away look blurry. When you have myopia your eye grows longer than normal causing the light rays to focus in front of your retina, which causes the distance blur. As the eye grows longer or becomes more myopic there is higher risk (compared with non-myopic eyes) of eye disease later on in life, such as retinal detachment, myopic maculopathy and even glaucoma.
Why is Myopia a concern in children?
Myopia typically starts early in childhood and almost always progresses with age. Myopia progresses quickest in childhood and adolescent years. If Myopia is not controlled in children, it can lead to moderate or high Myopia, which increases the risk of blindness due to myopia-associated eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, retinal detachment, cataracts and glaucoma.
What are the risks of Myopia?
Having any amount of myopia increases your risk for eye disease, such as macular degeneration, retinal detachment, cataracts and glaucoma. Below is a chart that calculates risk based on the amount of myopia you have. Because the risk increases significantly the more myopia you have it is crucial to have early intervention with effective treatments to slow down and control myopia progression from a young age.
What are the risk factors for Myopia progression?
Childhood onset myopia
Family history of myopia
Parents with myopia
Excessive near work - reading, computers, phones and tablets
Reduced outdoor activity
When should I consider myopia control?
Early intervention with Myopia Control and timely treatment is important to reduce the degree of Myopia that may develop. Therefore, Myopia Control is recommended at initial diagnosis of your child's Myopia. Myopia control aims to slow the progression of myopia in children, in the hope to prevent a high degree of Myopia. While Myopia cannot be reversed, the goal of treatment is to keep it from getting worse. This can protect a child's eye health in the future, despite still needing to wear glasses or contact lenses.
Does Myopia Control work for adults?
There are no current studies that show the effect of Myopia Control for adults. However, it is not a bad idea to consider the Myopia Control options available if your myopia is progressing as an adult.
What Myopia Control Treatment are available?
We offer the following treatments for Myopia Control:
Orthokeratology (Ortho-K) - studies have shown Ortho-K treatment have an average efficacy of 45% to slow down the progression of Myopia and an average of 0.13mm/yr axial length growth.
MiSight Contact Lenses - studies have shown full time (8 hours per day) wear of MiSight contact lenses have an average efficacy of 52% to slow down the progression of Myopia and an average of 0.11mm/yr axial length growth.
MiyoSmart Spectacle Lenses- studies have shown full time wear of prescription MiyoSmart spectacle lenses have an average efficacy of 62% to slow down the progression of Myopia and an average of 0.16mm/yr axial length growth.
Atropine Eye Drops - studies have shown ongoing atropine eye drops used in conjunction with wearing glasses full time has the ability to slow down the progression of Myopia.
For more information about Myopia Control or to see which treatment option is best suited for your child please book an appointment.