Myopic Progression in Children
Myopia, or short-sightedness is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. So, a child is more likely to develop myopia if one or both of their parents have the condition, but the recent prevalence cannot be explained by genetics alone. Myopia is already the most common eye condition worldwide.
For people who are myopic, near objects are clear while distant objects appear blurry. This is usually because the eye becomes too long to focus correctly.
Controlling myopia in children is important because increasing myopia can lead to eye health problems in the future with a higher risk of developing serious eye conditions such as retinal detachment and glaucoma.
Research indicates that children who are genetically predisposed to myopia (children with short-sighted parents) can reduce their chances of developing the condition by increasing the amount of time they spend outdoors.
It is believed that natural, outdoor light on the retina protects the eye from lengthening and therefore becoming myopic.
Around 14 hours a week spent outdoors has been shown to reduce the chance of a person becoming myopic – even in overcast weather.
Contrary to previous theories, excessive homework or reading are not factors that contribute to the onset of myopia.
Signs of Potential Myopia
If your child shows difficulty working with close-up objects, holding a book very close to read or sitting very close when watching TV, they may be nearsighted. Others signs to look out for are:
There is, as yet, no cure for myopia. The physical change of the elongated eyeball cannot be reversed (even laser-eye surgery can’t do this) and that’s why myopia control is so important.
The aim of myopia control management is to slow down the progression of your child’s short-sightedness so that when they reach adulthood it could mean them having a lower prescription when wearing glasses or contact lenses and a lower incidence of serious eye conditions associated with high myopia such as retinal detachment or glaucoma.
Please note that myopia control management is not a guarantee that serious eye conditions will be reduced nor that the slowing of progression in myopia is guaranteed. The aim of the treatment is to slow the progression of myopia not to reduce the current level of myopia.
Orthokeratology is playing a key role in myopia control all over the world. The results vary for each individual child, but most experts maintain that myopia control is the best available option for children suffering from myopia. There is a small possibility however that the myopia will continue to progress at the same rate as it would have done without taking part in a myopia management plan. Ongoing research is being carried out in this area as this is a complex area and the reasons are not fully known why myopia is increasing worldwide.
Myopia Management Plan
Helping you give your children a good start in life
Our Optometrists stay up to date with the current advances in the management of myopia and receive training from contact lens manufacturers who specialise in this field. Currently we have 2 Myopia Management Plans available with Mi-Sight 1 Day Lenses having recently been introduced to the British market in 2017 with our practice being selected as one of the first to clinically experience MiSight 1 Day in myopia management.
EyeDream is a form of Orthokeratology using RGP lenses
EyeDream is a form of orthokeratology. These groundbreaking lenses are worn overnight to gently reshape the front of the eye. In the morning, the lenses are removed, and the wearer can enjoy crisp, corrected vision all day. EyeDream lenses are effective, affordable and have proved life-changing for thousands of people.
EyeDream wearers enjoy many benefits, including:
- The potential to slow down the progression of myopia
- The freedom to swim, play sports and enjoy an active lifestyle without the restriction of glasses and contact lenses
- Peace of mind for parents – lenses are worn at night and at home so lens wear and care can be monitored and there is no need to worry about lost glasses or contact lenses
EyeDream lenses gently reshape the curvature of the eye overnight, creating a slightly flatter cornea. The cornea plays a key role in creating a sharp, optical focus.
Upon waking, the slight change in cornea curvature is enough to create clear, sharp vision for the duration of the day. In addition, it is believed that the refocusing of light on the peripheral retina slows down the progression of myopia in children.
EyeDream uses a tried-and-tested design that has been in use since 2002, and is only ever performed by an optical specialist trained in corneal topography. It is non-invasive, comfortable and safe.
Who is suitable for EyeDream?
EyeDream is recommended for patients with mild to moderate myopia:
- A spherical spectacle description of -0.75D up to -5.00D
- Astigmatism of up to -2.50D
Daily disposable contact lenses for myopic control
A child-friendly daily disposable soft contact lens that gives clear vision and a comfortable way to treat the progression of myopia. Suitable for myopic children as young as 8 years old.
MiSight™ wearers enjoy many benefits, including:
- The potential to slow down the progression of myopia supporting the long-term health of your child’s eyes
- Clear vision while doing schoolwork, playing outdoors or watching TV
- Daily disposable lenses suitable for children’s active lifestyles
MiSight™ uses ActivControl™ Technology which results in clear distance, intermediate and near vision while the peripheral treatment zones of the lens creates myopic retinal defocus that has been shown in Coopervision clinical studies to control the rate of progression of myopia.
MiSight™ 1 Day contact lenses were studied over three years in children aged 8 – 12 years. Over three years MiSight™ 1 Day contact lenses reduced myopia progression by 59%* versus a standard single-vision, one-day contact lens.
Who is suitable for MiSight™?
MiSight™ is ideal for even young children and is recommended for patients aged 8 years onwards. Not having to clean the lenses and with lost or damaged lenses easily replaced daily disposable lenses are the ideal option for even young children.
Ask us about a suitability consultation.
*Chamberlain P, Back A, Lazon P, et al. 3 year effectiveness of a dual-focus 1 day soft contact lens for myopia control. Presented at the 40th British Contact Lens Association Clinical Conference and Exhibition; 10 June 2017; Liverpool, United Kingdom