WHAT IS MYOPIA?
Myopia is an eye condition in which a person can not see distance objects clearly. This is due to light entering the front of the eye and focussing in front of the retina, therefore appearing blurred to the child. The prevalence of myopia is significantly rising throughout the world and considerable research is being conducted into what causes myopia and whether something can be done to prevent or slow it down once it has been diagnosed. It is estimated that by the year 2050, approximately 50% of the worlds population will be myopic.
This practice offers children and young adults comprehensive myopia consultations that provide thorough assessment and careful discussion of treatment options in reducing the rate of myopia progression that are based on current research, We are able to provide comprehensive advice on risk factors and strategies in minimising myopic progression for children of all ages. This is commonly referred to as myopia control.
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS FOR BEING MYOPIC?
WHAT CAUSES EYES TO BECOME MYOPIC?
Although myopia development is not fully understood, many theories discuss genetics and environmental influences as being prominent in the cause of myopia. What has been found particularly is that children who spend more time outdoors are less likely to become myopic. Current research has also identified that the quality of vision on the peripheral (outer edges) retina regulates the elongation and growth of the eyeball. It has been found that if the image on the peripheral retina is behind the surface of the retina, the eye is stimulated to grow longer, increasing the degree of myopia. Therefore strategies to move the peripheral retinal image forwards, in front of the retinal surface, can reduce the elongation of the eye and thereby reduce the progression of myopia.
SHOULD I BE CONCERNED IF MY CHILD IS MYOPIC?
Myopia can simply be managed with regular glasses or contact lenses, however the presence of moderate to high myopia also increases the lifetime risks of sight threatening conditions compared to those who have normal vision. Therefore reducing the progression of myopia and the ultimate degree of myopia can significantly reduce the risks of these sight threatening conditions.
HOW WE ASSESS MYOPIA
We undertake a number of tests which not only measure how much myopia is present, but how efficient the eye muscles are in providing single and clear vision when reading or viewing in the distance. We look at family history and lifestyle factors that may influence the rate of myopic progression and use these to lead a discussion in appropriate myopia treatment options. We use a myopic calculator utilising the best in current research that predicts your childs future myopic amount which is dependant on your childs current age and level of prescription. We present various treatment options showing the potential benefit in taking certain steps in myopia treatment which can reduce the rate of myopic progression and ultimately the final myopic prescription as your child enters late teenage years.