By 2050, the prevalence of myopia (short-sightedness) globally is predicted to be 50% of the world’s population.
The last few decades have seen a steady rise in the prevalence of myopia across the globe. A growing body of evidence suggests that behavioural and lifestyle influences along with genetics, are contributing to the myopia ‘epidemic’.
Myopia in children increases when parents are myopic.
The risk is nearly: 1 in 2 when both parents are myopic.
1 in 3 when one parent is myopic.
Modern lifestyles may increase the development of myopia, including low levels of outdoor activity and prolonged near tasks such as reading and gaming on portable devices.
Why Does Myopia Matter?
The cause of myopia is the eyeball growing too big – and with increasing axial elongation comes the stretching and thinning of the retina making it vulnerable to future eye health risks. Myopia’s link to retinal detachment and myopic macular degeneration is well established.
A -3.00 myope has a 3x greater risk of retinal detachment, whilst a -6.00 or -10.00 myope has a 9x or 21x greater risk respectively. The higher the level of myopia the higher the risk.
More than 80% of children’s learning occurs through vision and being myopic can seriously impact your child’s eyesight and life.
More children are getting myopia at a younger age – partly due to a rise in sedentary indoor lifestyles and an increasing amount of time spent on screens. The younger a child develops myopia, the further it evolves and the worse it becomes.
Children developing short-sightedness at a younger age may have an increased risk of developing high myopia and consequently run the risk of developing visual impairments in adulthood.
Myopia can appear as young as 6 years old, so if you notice your child struggles to see the TV screen clearly or their teacher has mentioned that they have issues seeing a whiteboard in class it could be an indication that they suffer from short-sightedness.
A standard eye test will be able to determine if your child has myopia and your optician will be able to provide the best solution for their needs. Get your child’s eyes tested regularly, every year, or more frequently if your optometrist recommends it.
Myopia is traditionally corrected with standard spectacles or contact lenses by using the lenses to focus light rays onto the retina to give clear distance vision. However, correcting your child’s vision today won’t necessarily protect them for tomorrow as myopia is likely to continue to worsen affecting their future eye health.
With the latest research and development methods there are now options to not just correct myopia but to control it.
Myopia Control Options
In the UK there are currently three methods of myopia control being used to slow down the progression of myopia. All children under the age of 16yrs are suitable and starting as young as possible is key to success
- Specialised Soft Contact Lenses used to defocus the light in the peripheral retina worn for 12 hrs per day
- Specialised Spectacle Lenses used to defocus light in the mid-peripheral retina when glasses are worn all day.
- Ortho-Keratology (Ortho-K) gas permeable contact lenses worn overnight to reshape the cornea whilst sleeping may help to control myopia progression.
At Lesley Cree Opticians we are trained and accredited to supply;
- MiSight (Coopervision) myopia control contact lenses – proven to slow myopia progression by 59%
- Stellest (Essilor) myopia control spectacle lenses – proven to slow myopia progression by 67%
For more information and pricing please contact us on 0115 933299