Myopia management, treatment and control.

12 Things You Should Know About Myopia

1. What is myopia?

Myopia, commonly known as short-sightedness or near-sightedness, is a condition that results in difficulty with seeing distant objects clearly. A person with myopia can see objects that are nearby clearly e.g., when reading a book or looking at a phone, but words and objects that are far away will look blurry or fuzzy e.g., writing on a whiteboard, text on television or road signs when driving.

Myopia can co-exist with astigmatism and presbyopia, and it is a common cause of correctable vision loss. Low levels of myopia would be classified as under -2.00 dioptres and high myopia is considered to be above -6.00 dioptres.

Globally uncorrected myopia remains the leading cause of distance vision impairment.

2. What is the main cause of myopia?

The commonest form of myopia is caused by the elongation of the eyeball resulting in a blurred image at the macula (axial myopia). Other causes can be due to the cornea being very steeply curved (refractive myopia).

Axial Myopia

Compared to normal eye

BeforeAfter

Refractive Myopia

Compared to normal eye

BeforeAfter
Children's glasses frames

3. Myopia and Children

Myopia develops much more commonly in children, although it can sometimes develop in adults.

In younger children, myopia progresses more quickly because their eyes are growing at a faster rate, leading to higher levels of myopia, stronger glasses, and increased risks of poor eye health.

Adult-onset myopia usually occurs as an adaptation to fatigued eye focusing muscles due to a significant increase in close work, such as studying, reading, or using digital devices.

4. How common is myopia?

The percentage of people who develop myopia is increasing sharply worldwide.

  • 6 billion people worldwide have myopia (short-sightedness)
  • It is estimated that by 2050 half of the world’s population will have myopia
  • 1 in 3 people in the UK are affected by myopia
  • In the last 50 years the number of children with myopia in the UK has doubled

Myopia is one of the conditions identified by the WHO (World Health Organisation) as a potential cause of blindness and is likely to become a leading cause of permanent visual impairment worldwide.

5. What are the risk factors of myopia progression?

There are several risk factors which can increase the likelihood of your child developing progressive myopia.

Genetics

  • Myopia can be hereditary, therefore, if a child’s parents are myopic, there is an increased chance that they will also develop it.
  • Having one parent with myopia increases the risk of a child becoming myopic 3-fold.
  • There will be a 6x increase in risk if both parents have myopia.

Ethnicity

  • Myopia is much more common with people of Asian Ethnicity.
  • East Asian countries, like South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore have the highest prevalence of myopia, with up to 80-90% of the population being myopic.
  • African countries have some of the lowest numbers of myopes in their populations.

 Age

  • The age of the onset of myopia can affect the likelihood of progression.
  • Developing myopia at a young age gives the highest risk of rapidly increasing myopia.
  • A child who is younger when myopia starts, will typically develop higher levels of myopia by adulthood (over -6.00 D).

Under or over-corrected vision

  • Wearing incorrect glasses (especially if under-strength) or having no glasses (when they are needed) has been shown to promote the onset of myopia and is likely to accelerate the progression of myopia.

Spending more time on close work

  • Spending little time outdoors in ‘natural light’ increases the risk of developing myopia.
  • Doing a lot of near visual work such as reading, playing computer games, using handheld electronic devices and computers can all lead to progressive myopia.

6. Why is myopia such an important disease?

Myopia and the risks

7. The Onset of Myopia

Myopia typically develops in young children and progresses throughout the school-age years, usually stabilising into the late teens or early 20s. In some cases it can continue to progress beyond the age of 30.

The age of the onset of myopia can affect the likelihood of progression; the younger your child is when they develop myopia, the higher the risk that their myopia will rapidly increase leading to higher levels of myopia by adulthood (over -6.00 D).

8. What is the best treatment for myopia control?

Myopia control is possible using specialised myopia management glasses, Night Lenses and Day Contact Lenses.

Spectacles for myopia management

New innovations with spectacle lens designs are now available which allow an opportunity to reduce the progression (worsening) of your child’s myopia. These lenses still help your child see better, but also offer a much-improved chance of reducing their risk of developing high myopia, with the associated risk of sight-threatening disease.

Read more about spectacles for myopia management

Contact Lenses for myopia management

Day Wear Lenses – as the name suggests these are contact lenses that are worn during the day and give clear, comfortable vision as well as slowing down myopic progression. They are used in a similar way to traditional soft contact lenses and are available as a daily disposable (with limited parameters) and a monthly reusable lens (with a wider range of prescriptions covered).

Night Lenses (Ortho-K) – these are revolutionary contact lenses that are only ever worn during sleep. They are designed to gently mould the shape of the cornea (the front of the eye) so that in the morning, when removed, they allow your child to benefit from clear vision without needing any glasses or contact lenses during the day.

9. What You Can Do to Slow the Progression of Myopia?

Children's eye health and myopia

Lifestyle Adaptions

In addition to using specialised visual correction, there are several ways that children with myopic progression can reduce the at risk of developing higher levels of short-sightedness.

  • Try and encourage your child to hold books and digital devices (phones, tablets etc) more than 30cm from their eyes.
  • Encourage them to take a break from reading or using an electronic device every 30 minutes, even if it is for only a few minutes.
  • Promote more outdoors activities and limit use of phones or tablets to less than 2 hours a day.

Remember the 30:30:OUT rule = Balanced vision

Why is myopia control important?

By controlling myopia, individuals can reduce the associated risks, such as a higher likelihood of developing serious eye conditions like glaucoma, retinal detachment, or myopic macular degeneration in the future. These risks are typically associated with higher degrees of myopia.

It’s crucial to continue myopia control treatment as recommended by an eye care professional. Stopping the treatment prematurely may result in a loss of its effectiveness, and myopia progression could resume from the point where it was halted once the treatment is discontinued. Consistency is key to achieving long-term benefits.

Prescription glasses for myopia

10. At what age does myopia stabilise?

Many individuals with myopia find that their eyes stabilize by the age of 21-25. At this point, it may become reasonable to transition from myopia management treatment to conventional vision correction methods, such as regular glasses or contact lenses. This transition should be discussed with an eye care specialist.

11. What are the advantages of myopia control glasses and contact lenses?

Myopia control glasses and myopia control contact lenses have several advantages:

  • Ease of Use: They are generally easy to incorporate into your child’s daily routine.
  • Safety: These treatments are considered safe when prescribed and used appropriately.
  • Eye Protection: Myopia control methods not only help manage myopia but also offer additional eye protection by reducing the risk of associated eye diseases.
  • Child-Friendly: These treatments are well-liked by children, making it easier for them to adhere to the treatment plan.

It’s important to note that the effectiveness of myopia control methods can vary from person to person, and the choice of treatment should be made in consultation with an eye care professional who can assess an individual’s specific needs and monitor progress over time.

Eye tests Enfield Town

12. Regular eye tests and myopia

Research shows that myopia control methods, such as special Myopia glasses, Night Lenses, and Day Contact Lenses, can reduce the progression of short-sightedness (myopia) by approximately 50-60%. Regular eye exams are essential to ensure the chosen treatment is effective and appropriate for the individual’s eye health.

Why should you choose Hammond Opticians as your provider of Myopia Management for your child?

At Hammond Opticians we are heartfelt in our desire to help parents understand the risks of progressive myopia in their children and to demonstrate the benefits of providing safe and effective treatment. Our principal optometrist, Deven Lakhani, has considerable experience in this field and has had great success in slowing down the myopia progression in the children under our care.

Deven is well known within the optical profession and has been instrumental in training local colleagues to develop their knowledge of monitoring and treating progressive myopia.

Deven is passionate about helping children with progressive myopia, having been diagnosed with myopia himself at the age of 9. He fully understands the challenges of coping with blurry vision as a child and the frustration with needing stronger glasses at each visit.

As a result of his experiences, he always ensures that your child is included in any explanation and discussion and that they understand what is happening with their eyes. He knows the benefits that wearing contact lenses can provide for children in helping them participate in PE and sports and in increasing their self-confidence.

Our emphasis on trust, expertise, simplicity, and transparency is seen by our clients and their parents as a reason to keep coming back to us, and to recommend others to our practice.

Find out more

If you are interested in discovering more about  myopia and the management of the condition, have any questions or would like to book a consultation, please contact us call us.

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020 8363 3578

Email: admin@hammondopticians.co.uk
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5 Reasons to use Hammond Opticians

  • Dedicated Experts

    Our team of specialists are committed to providing high-quality services & expertise in myopia management.

  • Entrusted by Many

    The exceptional levels of service we provide has earned the trust and credibility among a wide range of clients.

  • Simple Monthly Payment Plan

    The pricing structure for our renowned Myopia Management Treatment Plans is straightforward and includes all necessary consultations and products. We monitor children with progressive myopia as often as clinically necessary and parents can expect a single, clear monthly payment without any hidden fees.

  • Higher Qualifications

    Our myopia specialists are all highly qualified, experienced, and well-educated in their respective fields, which instils great confidence in our clients.

  • Use of Data & Equipment

    Our myopia monitoring service includes the use of highly specialised measuring equipment to check the axial length of the eyes, and specialised apps utilising data analytics to enhance the effectiveness of our treatment programmes.

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