Children are becoming myopic at a younger age and it is predicted by 2050, half of the global population will be affected by myopia.
The aim of myopia management is to slow the progression of short-sightedness in children and to preserve their vision and eye health for the future.
At present we offer 3 myopia management plans using specialist spectacles lenses and contact lenses specifically developed for myopia management: MiYOSMART spectacle lenses or Ortho-K and Mi-Sight contact lenses. All 3 programs aim to slow down myopia progression as well as correct distance vision.
What is Myopia?
Myopia (also called short-sightedness or near-sightedness) is due to the eyeball being longer than normal or the cornea being too curved, causing the image to be focused in front of the retina rather than on the retina. Distance vision is then blurred, but near vision is usually clear (but not always perfect).
Often conventional prescription glasses or contact lenses are used to correct short-sightedness in children to improve distance vision however this does not slow down myopia progression so the rate of myopia may increase over time.
Myopic Progression in Children
Myopia is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. So, a child is more likely to develop myopia if one or both of their parents are myopic, but the recent prevalence cannot be explained by genetics alone.
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:
Why is Myopia Management important?
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).
Increasing myopia in children can lead to eye health problems later in life with a higher risk of developing retinal detachment, glaucoma and myopic maculopathy.
The aim of myopia 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.
The results vary for each individual child, but most experts maintain that myopia management is the best available option for children with 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.
It is important to note that myopia 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.
Myopia Management Plan
It all starts with an eye examination to find out your child’s prescription. If your child is myopic, the Optometrist will discuss with you the potential options for myopia management. The options will depend upon the prescription and the child’s preference for spectacles or contact lenses.
Myopia Management Options
We currently offer the following 3 options at Gordon Turner Optometrists. All 3 options aim to slow down myopia progression as well as correct distance vision.
Ortho-K involves wearing a custom-designed gas permeable contact lens overnight which temporarily reshapes the cornea (front surface of the eye) while you sleep, providing clear vision the next day without the need for spectacles or contact lens wear during the day.
MiSight Daily Contact Lenses
This is a soft daily disposable contact lens that has to be worn at least 6 days a week instead of spectacles. The benefits of Myopia control lenses are more effective when the patient is younger. The sooner a patient is fitted with lenses, the more effective they are.
To find out more about MiSight contact lenses, click here.
MiYOSMART Spectacle Lenses
The latest research in myopia control has found that a new spectacle lens design known as DIMS (defocus incorporated multiple segments) is also effective in slowing the growth of the eyeball using similar optics as custom contact lenses. DIMS lenses, known as Hoya MiYOSMART, slow progression by 60% on average, offering children a non-invasive myopia control option.
To find out more MiYOSMART spectacle lenses, click here.
When should Myopia Management start?
It’s never too early to start myopia management. Myopia in children generally increases over the years as their eye grows, normally stabilizing in early adulthood however for some it can continue to progress so it is important to manage it as soon as possible.
As a parent this may sound concerning however with early intervention, following a myopia management plan and taking some everyday practical steps you can help your child with their vision.
When should Myopia Management finish?
As part of the myopia management plan our Optometrist will be regularly monitoring your child’s prescription to see if there are any changes. We would expect once your child reaches their early twenties (or when their eyeball stops growing) that their myopia should stabilise. Once stable, young adults, although no longer under myopia management, will still need regular eye exams to monitor their eye health and vision.
Myopia Management Plan
Helping you give your children a good start in life
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 prescription of -0.75D up to -5.00D
- Astigmatism of up to -2.50D
Ask us about a suitability consultation.
Daily disposable contact lenses for myopic management
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.
The prescription range is -0.25 to -6.00. Correction with astigmatism is not available.
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
A revolutionary spectacle lens for myopic management
MiYOSMART lenses provide the vision correction so your child will experience comfortable vision for both near and distance vision. All this whilst also working to reduce the progression of their short-sightedness. They are easy to adapt to and are suitable for full time daily wear for a wide range of activities. It is safe and convenient as they are just like wearing ordinary spectacle lenses.
MiYOSMART wearers enjoy many benefits, including:
- Clinically proven to correct both myopia and provide effective management of myopic progression
- Potential to slow down the progression of myopia on average by 60%*
- Easy to fit, just like a regular single vision lens
- Safe and durable, suitable for active wear
- Made of polycarbonate material with high impact resistance
- Special anti-reflective durable coating
- Provides comprehensive UV protection for the eyes
Engineered specifically to correct myopic refractive error and slow down myopia progression, this revolutionary Hoya spectacle lens based on patented Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments (D.I.M.S.) Technology was developed in cooperation with The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. By using D.I.M.S. technology, myopia progression can be managed by providing clear vision and constant myopic defocus simultaneously.
The award-winning, breakthrough ophthalmic lens efficacy is based on patent protected D.I.M.S. islands creating myopic defocus effect.
All participants who completed the 2-year trial wearing MiYOSMART with DIMS Technology had myopia progression reduced by an average of 60%*
Who is suitable for MiYOSMART?
In general, MiYOSMART lenses can be prescribed:
- For myopic patients aged 6-18
- Whenever the first signs of myopia appear
- A spherical spectacle prescription of 0.00D to -10.00DS / -4.00 DC and up to 3 prism
Ask us about a suitability consultation.
* Myopia progression (SER) by 59% and axial elongation (AL) decreased by 60% compared with those wearing SV lenses. Source: Hoya
What you can do to help
Regular Eye Exams
The best method to identify and manage myopia in children is first to ensure they have regular eye examinations. We can identify children at risk of myopia and offer advice and eye care options with the aim to slow down the progression of short-sightedness.
Spend Time Outdoors
Around 14 hours a week spent outdoors has been shown to reduce the chance of a person becoming myopic. It is believed that natural, outdoor light on the retina protects the eye from lengthening and therefore becoming myopic.
Act as soon as possible
The eye continues to grow throughout childhood. Childhood myopia generally increases over the years as their eye grows, normally stabilizing in early adulthood. Early diagnosis and intervention is key to slowing the progression of myopia.
Speak to our Optometrist
Our Optometrists have many years of experience in myopia management and have seen first-hand some amazing results. They keep up-to-date with current advances in the management of myopia and if your child is myopic our Optometrists can build a management plan with you.
The 20-20-20 Rule
Research shows that more time spent on near-work activities is associated with a greater likelihood of myopia so encourage your child to take regular breaks from technology screens or near-work activities. For every 20 minutes spent on near tasks, take a break for 20 seconds and look into the distance 20 feet (or 6 metres) away.
Parents play a big role in the health of their children’s eyes. A few simple strategies will help protect their vision and can reduce their chances of developing myopia. Increase the amount of time children spend outdoors, encourage the 20-20-20 rule and book regular eye examinations as soon as your child is of school age.