What is Myopia Management?
Myopia is one of the conditions identified by the World Health Organisation as a potential cause of blindness. It is currently estimated that Myopia affects 30% of the world’s population, and this number is projected to be nearly 50% by 2050. Projected increases are widely considered to be driven by environmental factors such as decreased outdoors time, increased near work, and high pressure educational systems especially at young ages.
Myopia, also known as short-sightedness, is the most common refractive eye condition in the world and the most common cause of impaired vision in people under 40. Myopia causes objects in the distance to appear blurred, while the patient can usually see objects that are close by clearly.
Myopia is increasing worldwide with some calling this a ‘myopia boom’. This phenomenon is most striking in the East Asia where 90% of Chinese teenagers & young adults are myopic. Prevalence has also doubled within a century in Europe and in Australian 12 year olds it doubled between 2006 and 2011! This is a worrying public health issue, as short sight is connected with a number of more serious eye problems in later life such as retinal detachment, cataract, glaucoma & maculopathy. With every increase in myopia, the risk of developing these conditions increases. We expect that our children will live longer than us and we need to do all we can to preserve their vision!
Myopia management is a number of techniques that have been shown to slow and even halt the progression of short-sightedness, for both adults and children. In doing so, it can keep myopia levels under control and reduce any risk of experiencing high myopia and associated complications in the future.
Myopia management is often recommended for children, as beginning the treatment early on will help to keep myopia levels as low as possible from the outset. However, the techniques can be used and be effective at any age.
At Feltham Eyecare Centre we specialise in myopia management for children to safeguard the future of their vision and well-being. The treatment can involve a number of techniques such as Night Lenses which is also known as Orthokeratology or Ortho-K, which are special contact lenses worn overnight while you sleep. This means that during the day you can see clearly without the need for spectacles or day lenses and so are great for children especially those active in field sports or swimming.
Myopia Management (children)
We can now offer solutions which are designed specifically to slow down the progression of myopia (short-sightedness) in children.
Myopia can occur in children and teenagers as the eyeball lengthens during growth. There is a higher risk of becoming myopic if one or both parents have the condition, although genetics might not be be the only factor.
There is currently no cure for myopia, but in recent years there have been advances in ways to slow down the progression, including the following options:
Night Lenses (Orthokeratology) – Special lenses that are worn overnight, which can slow the rate of progression of myopia, as well as allowing freedom from spectacles or contact lenses through the day.
Day Lenses (With Myopia Control) – Specialist contact lenses worn during the day that focus the light better around the edge of the eye. They are designed to bend light travelling into the eyes from its natural angle, resulting in light landing on the peripheral retina in a way that doesn’t encourage lengthening of the eyeball. The lenses are soft and comfortable and easy to use – as you dispose of them at the end of each day. This means your child is able to look after their lenses by themselves with minimal risk of infection.
Spectacle Lenses (With Myopia Control) – Specialist spectacle lenses that focus the light better around the edge of the eye and are worn like normal spectacles. They use peripheral defocus technologies for reducing the progression of childhood myopia without the need for contact lenses.
What is Myopia
Myopia, casually called “Short sight”, is a condition that, unknown to many, increases sight threatening conditions such as retinal detachments and diseases like glaucoma and myopic macular degeneration. Treat these seriously. The higher the Myopia, the higher the risk of diseases.
Myopia leads to the eye growing longer, making the retina more likely to degenerate. If we think of the eye like a camera, the retina is the film, capturing what we see. If the retina becomes damaged this can lead to sight loss that cannot be corrected with spectacles or surgery. In the worst case it can lead to partial sight or blindness. The good news is that the amount of Myopia can now be reduced in children. The chart below shows how EARLY CONTROL should help your child see better over their lifetime, reducing their risk of eye disease later on in life.
1. Does my child have myopia?
2. What line on the eye chart can they see now?
3. What line might they see in 5 years’ time?
4. What is their projected line on the graph?
5. What myopia control options are available to us?
To help with myopia management at Feltham Eyecare Centre we have introduced a new 3D OCT Scanner. The Revo 80 by Optopol. It is a step above the rest because we can use it measure Axial Length, the length of the eye with its Biometry Module. This has the power to show more information about the progression of your child’s myopia. It does so by measures the axial length, in other words, the length of the eye, which is a highly important measurement that indicates whether myopia is progressing.
By continuously monitoring axial length using the Revo 80 OCT Scanner, we can start to build up a picture of how quickly it is progressing too, so we can make the best recommendation for a management method.
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?
At Feltham Eyecare Centre, principal Optometrist Mr Kasmani has trained extensively in Myopia Management having achieved the Certification of Completion in Myopia Management from the Brien Holden Vision Institute Academy, Australia, one of the World Leading Institutions in Myopia Management and more recently the Certificate of Achievement in Stellest from Essilor Ltd. He has been fitting overnight vision correction lenses known as OrthoK for over 10 years, and also trained in the fitting of Myopia Management Soft Contact Lenses known as Mi-Sight, Naturalvue, and was amongst the first Optometrists in the UK to receive accreditation to fit MiYOSMART Myopia Management Spectacle Lenses. Also, we have invested heavily in new technology to assist with the management of Myopia, including measuring the shape of the cornea and length of the eyes. We are here to help and have solutions available to manage your child’s myopia.