Could Myopia Management Help Your Child’s Vision?
A staggering 1 in 3 people in the UK have myopia according to the NHS, and that number is on the rise, especially in children. Around the world, myopia is been classed as a growing epidemic, with a recent study estimating that 50% of the world population will be myopic by 2050. This isn’t helped by the digital world we now find ourselves in, with children spending more time in front of a screen, especially since the start of the pandemic this year.
Exactly what is myopia though, and what can you do about it?
Myopia, better known as short-sightedness, occurs when the eyeball grows to be too elongated. This causes light entering through the lens at the front of your eye to focus in front of the retina, instead of directly on it, which results in blurry vision at far distances. As children grow, so do their eyes, and for shortsighted children this means further deterioration of their distance vision over the years. The more severe myopia becomes, the greater risk of other eye conditions developing in adulthood, such as retinal detachments and glaucoma.
So, what myopia treatment is available to prevent more rapid progression?
Our principal optometrist, Mr Kasmani, has undergone extensive training in myopia management, including completing the Brian Holden Institute course, meaning he is able to provide the most effective options available, based on the latest up to date research.
There are 4 main treatments we can provide to slow the progression of myopia in children:
1- Ortho K Contact Lenses
Mr Kasmani has over 8 years of experience in fitting Ortho K lenses. These hard contact lenses are designed to be worn every night whilst your child sleeps and work to gently reshape the surface of the front of the eye – the cornea – to correct their prescription. Within a few days, your child will be able to notice complete clarity of vision once they have removed the lenses upon waking up each morning.
Ortho K is suitable for children aged 8 upwards and is considered more safe than regular contact lenses in the sense that they are only worn at home under parental supervision. This treatment is also completely reversible and allows your child to be free of glasses and contacts whilst experiencing crisp, clear vision all day.
We are pleased to now offer the latest Ortho K lenses – Menicon Bloom Night lenses – which are made from hyper oxygen permeable Menicon Z material to allow as much oxygen as possible to enter the eye for increased comfort. Here is a recent review from the parent of a patient, who has benefitted from Mr Kasmani’s recommendation to start myopia control treatment through the use of Ortho K:
2- Misight Soft Contact Lenses
These soft daily disposable lenses correct your child’s vision, as well as working to slow down the progression of myopia in children aged 8–15 years. They achieve this by using ActivControl® myopia management technology, which controls axial elongation and myopia progression of the eye. A three-year study has proven that these lenses slow the rate of myopia progression by over 50% and is generally well accepted by the children that wear them, as well as their parents.
3- Naturalvue Soft Multifocal 1-Day Contact Lenses
These daily disposable lenses feature a patented design to control myopia progression. They are multifocal, which means they correct vision at all distances and are clinically proven to not only slow myopia progression, but even stop or reverse it, according to a study conducted for children aged 6-19 who wore the lenses for 6-25 months.
4- Myopilux® Glasses
These glasses correct myopia but also offer greater comfort for near vision tasks, such as reading a book or working on a digital device, through the addition of a near vision prescription on the bottom half of the glasses lenses to prevent eye strain. This is how they also achieve myopia evolution control.
Research shows that Myopilux® glasses has successfully reduced the progression of myopia by up to 62% in children.
Along with myopia control treatment, another way to reduce the risk of developing myopia is to spend time outdoors, giving your child’s eyes access to natural light and allowing them to use their full optical field. Nowadays, more and more time is spent indoors, with children using their near vision to look at screens, which means their vision isn’t often exposed to distances over 3 metres. Several studies have been conducted to confirm this, with one indicating that spending 1 hour per day (7 hours per week) will result in a 45% reduction in myopia.
Which myopia control treatment is best for your child? As a high myopic patient himself (-9.00) who has worn glasses since the age of 9, our principal optometrist, Mr Kasmani, has a passion for helping to reduce the progression of myopia in children – if he had the chance when he was younger to take advantage of this, he would’ve done so in a heartbeat! This is why you can rest assured that he will dedicate as much time as necessary to find the right solution for your child, so they can protect and enjoy good vision and eye health for as long as possible.
The first step to finding out is to book your child in for an eye exam at Feltham Eyecare Centre. If your child has already had an eye exam recently and their prescription is up to date, why not contact our team to find out more about myopia treatment options?