Myopia, more commonly known as short-sightedness is becoming more and more prevalent, especially in children. It’s thought that up to 1 in 3 people in the UK are affected by myopia, while cases of childhood myopia have more than doubled in the last 50 years and are still rising.
In fact, myopia is now considered a global epidemic, with experts predicting that half the world’s population will be myopic by 2050.
However, recent advances in technology mean that there are now ways to control myopia and slow its progression.
What is myopia?
Short-sightedness occurs when the eyeball becomes too elongated, which creates a refractive error – meaning that light focuses in front of the retina rather than on it. This has the effect of making distant objects appear blurry. Glasses or contact lenses are usually used to correct myopia and provide clear vision.
Children are becoming myopic at a younger age, meaning that their eyesight can deteriorate at a faster rate. In some cases, this can lead to children becoming highly myopic by the time they become adults, which in turn can increase the risk of developing serious eye conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal detachments.
Myopia usually starts to affect children between the ages of 6 and 13, which is why it’s so important to make sure your child has regular eye exams from a young age.
Causes of myopia
It’s not known exactly what causes myopia, but we do know that it often runs in families. If one parent has myopia, their child is 3 times more likely to develop myopia, and the risk increases to 7 times when both parents are short-sighted.
Research is still being done to try and understand the recent increase in myopia, but it has been suggested that it could be linked to spending even more screen time on digital devices.
Your eyes need to exercise as much as the rest of your body, which is why studies show that it’s really important for children to spend plenty of time outside while their eyes are still developing, to get them used to adjusting to different distances and to allow more oxygen in.
Treatment for myopia
Research shows that early intervention before the age of 12 will most likely have the greatest impact on effectively reducing the progression of myopia.
This is why advanced myopia control technology has been developed, meaning that rather than just correcting its symptoms, your child’s vision can remain more stable, and their eye health can be protected from the potential complications that can occur with myopia in later years.
We offer 2 different forms of myopia control – MiYOSMART spectacle lenses and MiSight 1-day soft contact lenses.
MiYOSMART spectacle lenses
Renowned lens supplier HOYA has created an award-winning spectacle lens that can correct myopia and has also been clinically proven to slow the progression of myopia by up to 60% on average. Nicholson Eyecare carry a range of Wolf frames specialy formulated for Miyosmart lenses.
Short-sighted children of any age can wear glasses with MiYOSMART lenses, which are also designed with a special anti-reflective coating, as well as being impact-resistant, lightweight, and providing UV protection.
MiSight contact lenses
Some children prefer not to wear glasses, which is why we also offer MiSight 1-day soft contact lenses as an alternative myopia management method. These daily disposable lenses are designed to be worn by children as young as 8, with a 3-year clinical study showing that 90% of children could handle MiSight lenses on their own.
As well as correcting your child’s vision, these contact lenses are also clinically proven to reduce the progression of myopia thanks to their special optical design.
We provide our young patients with fully bespoke fitting appointments, allowing plenty of time to discuss your child’s needs and lifestyle and recommend the best form of myopia management for them.
Feel free to contact our team to find out more about myopia control for your child today.