Myopia or short-sightedness is a common eye condition that causes reduced or blurred vision at distance. Below we explain more about Myopia and treatment options.
What is Myopia?
Affecting around 1 in 3 people in the UK, Myopia or short-sightedness can range from mild to severe and affect children and adults. Patients with Myopia will usually have good close-up vision, for reading or screen use whilst distance vision will be blurry.
Myopia is classified into low, moderate or high myopia, which relates to the prescription power of the lenses required to give you the best vision.
- Low myopia: -3.00 dioptres or less
- Moderate myopia: -3.00 to -6.00 dioptres
- High myopia: -6.00 or more
Research shows that short-sightedness in children is increasing mainly due to the change in lifestyle factors. Myopia most commonly affects children between 6 – 13 years, worsening throughout the teenage years as the body grows rapidly.
Although it can affect any age and can continue to progress into adulthood. Those with higher levels of myopia can be at increased risk of medical eye problems such as glaucoma, macular disease and retinal detachments. If steps are taken to help slow this progression it can avoid the risk of these conditions in later life.
Myopia is usually caused by the eyes growing too long, which doesn’t allow the light to focus on the retina at the back of the eye as neatly as it needs to.
Often running in families, myopia has been linked to extended time spent focusing on close objects such as screens or books in childhood. Making sure children spend significant time away from close focus activities and play outside may help to reduce the risk of developing myopia and slow its progression.
Depending on age, your child may not be able to articulate their possible myopia. If you notice any of these behaviours book an eye test:
- Eye rubbing
- Headaches or tired eyes
- Wanting to sit close to the television
- Struggling to read the board at school
The above symptoms are also relevant for adults, with the addition of noticing the blurring of vision at a distance.
If you are concerned about your child’s vision or your own, book an eye test and talk to your Optometrist about your concerns.
Dependent on the level of Myopia and whether the myopia is likely to be progressive determines the treatment options.
In simple cases a correction with standard glasses or contact lenses is suitable.
Laser eye surgery can also be recommended for adults based on their age the stability of the prescription and the severity of myopia.
In younger patients whose prescriptions are progressing, have high levels of myopia at a young age or who have close relatives with myopia, there are several options available to slow the progression of their prescription and control their myopia.
Myopia management for children
Contact lens options are available such as OrthoK and Misight daily disposable lenses which are a good choice for those who wish to be more independent of spectacles.
For those too young for contact lenses or who prefer to wear glasses the new myopia control lenses MiYOSMART, from Hoya, are now available.
These lenses are proven to reduce the progression of myopia by 50-60% in clinical trials which is the same success rate that the myopia control contact lenses give.
MiYOSMART is a breakthrough in spectacle lens technology that combines clear vision and constant myopic defocus simultaneously for the wearer to help manage the development of myopia.
They are also designed with children’s lifestyles in mind featuring easy-to-wipe special anti-reflective, durable coating, impact resistance, UV protection – in a thin and light lens for maximum comfort.
For more information about your child and Myopia, read the latest factsheet from the BCLA
Call 01372 466 762 today to book eye exams for your whole family.