What is Myopia?
Myopia is more commonly known as short-sightedness. Near objects are clear, but distant objects appear blurred.
Myopia is reaching epidemic levels, the development of which can occur before the age of 10 and up to the age of 25 years. The younger the child is when they are first found to be myopic, the higher the prescription it is likely to become. The likelihood of developing short-sightedness increases if either parent is also short-sighted but there is a 25% chance even with no family history. The onset of myopia can also be lifestyle dependent and is more likely in children who participate in prolonged near-work activities such as reading or digital device use.
Eyes with a high degree of myopia are at an increased risk of developing a serious condition like retinal detachment or glaucoma but any amount of myopia produces an increase in these risks.
Because of this, interventions have now been developed to attempt to slow the progression and therefore limit the degree of myopia in this developmental period. The sooner these interventions are put in place, the more likely the prescription will be kept at modest levels.
Myopia Management Options
There is currently no cure for Myopia and until now, young adults and children with myopia have been dependent on spectacles or contact lenses to correct their vision.
You can help your child by controlling environmental factors that may affect their development of myopia. They should:
Attend regular eye examinations (available under the NHS for all children under 16 years old, and full time students under 19 years old)
Take regular breaks from prolonged screen use or near vision tasks
Good posture helps create a good working distance from close tasks (ideally this should be about 30cms)
Spend more time outdoors, ideally 2hrs minimum per day
However, in recent years, exciting new developments in contact lens and now glasses technology bring you the option to actually slow the progression of myopia.
Ortho K Lenses
Custom-made lenses are worn only at night to gently reshape the front of the eye using it’s tear layer.
Ortho K offers you freedom from glasses and additionally from all daytime contact lenses.
It is completely reversible.
It can correct moderate short-sighted prescriptions and some astigmatism.
It is also recommended for children as it can slow short-sighted progression.
Custom-made, highly gas-permeable lenses are worn each night.
It is a great alternative to laser eye surgery.