What is myopia?

Myopia, also known as short-sightedness occurs most commonly when the eye grows and becomes too long. The light then doesn’t focus clearly at the back of the eye. This usually starts in childhood. First the leaves on the trees become blurry, then the goalkeeper becomes blurred, and then the outlines of numbers and letters on the board lose their clarity and definition. It is corrected with glasses or contact lenses to make everything clear again.

Myopia is usually progressive and the younger a child is when myopia is diagnosed, the faster it can progress. This means the prescription in their glasses or contact lenses gets stronger as time goes by. This can happen at a different rate for each child. Stronger prescriptions mean thicker glasses and more reliance on them to see clearly. This is not only inconvenient, but it also leads to an increased risk of future eye problems such as cataract, retinal detachment, myopic maculopathy and glaucoma. These risks are present even at low levels of myopia, and they increase as the myopia increases.

What causes myopia?

Family history – Children who have short-sighted parents are more likely to inherit the condition

Indoor lifestyle –  Spending more time outdoors may help delay the onset of short-sightedness, 90 minutes a day is recommended by experts as the minimum

Too much time focussing on near work – modern lifestyles often mean we spend more time looking at near tasks such as phones or tablets. Activities like these increase the chance of developing myopia

What can be done about myopia?

There are now some clinically proven options that can help to slow the rate of progression of myopia by up to 60%. Which option to choose depends of what best suits the child, and their lifestyle. Here at Gower Opticians we offer both options of spectacle or contact lenses for myopia management.

Coopervision MiSight contact lenses are a daily disposable contact lens which allows children to be spectacle free, but thanks to the dual focus design they have been proven to slow down myopia progression by 59% on average. There is no age limit for trying contact lenses and they are a very comfortable option. Regular check ups are necessary to ensure safe contact lens wear and to monitor the treatment of myopia.

Hoya MiYOSMART spectacle lenses are an innovative product for myopia control. They are worn like a normal pair of glasses but these specialist lenses have a treatment zone, and 2 year trials have shown that they slow down myopia progression by 60% and can halt myopia progression by 21.5%. A series of frame and lens measurements will need to be taken to fit this specialist lenses to ensure your child gets the most out the treatment programme. Regular follow up appointments will be needed to ensure the frame and lenses are still suitable and to monitor the treatment of myopia.

What next?

If you would like to arrange a myopia management assessment, please get in touch. We will always put the welfare of your child first and work with you both to discuss and recommend the best options for your child and their lifestyle. We are happy to provide you with more information including the results of the clinical trials if you would like to see them.

We are proud to be providing these breakthrough myopia management options, ensuring your child gets the best out of their vision not just now, but for life.

Here you can see possible progression with and without the intervention of myopia management.