10/11/17The Myopia Epidemic – A New Way To Help Your Child
Worldwide, the percentage of people with myopia is growing. In the last 50 years the prevalence has more than doubled in the UK and by 2050 more than 50% of the world population will be myopic. The myopia epidemic has been a pressing issue particularly for parents who often ask questions like “What can I do to stop my child becoming more short-sighted?”. To answer this question, using the latest clinical studies, our optometrists have come together to share their expertise and advise you on how you can reduce the risk to your child’s eye sight.
What is Myopia?
Commonly Myopia is also known as short-sightedness. Simply, this means that the patient doesn’t see things well in the distance. Short-sightedness (myopia) occurs when the eye is too long from front to back or the curve of the cornea is too steep. This makes light focus in front of the retina, making things in the distance appear blurred. Myopia can happen at any age but it usually starts in childhood and teenage years. Myopia is traditionally treated with glasses or contact lenses.
What are the risks of Myopia?
People who suffer with myopia are at increased risk from eye disease and eye problems.
If you have myopia of -6.00 or more, you are at risk of:
- Retinal Detachment – 16x more likely
- Myopic Macular Degeneration – 40x more likely than someone without a prescription
With the rise in myopia and these shocking statistics, we expect to see more blindness and visual impairment in the future. For these reasons, taking on myopia in childhood is more urgent than ever.
What can you do to help?
Natural outdoor light exposure is a key factor in the reduction of risk. Though it isn’t known why, just 2 hours a day of any outdoor activity is enough to help, whether doing something active or just sitting outside. Previous advice was to under correct myopia but the latest research proves that this is not beneficial.
A New Technique
Following extensive clinical studies over the past 13 years, a new technique has become available to treat myopia from it’s outset in childhood. Our practice is just one of 70 in the UK prescribing Coopervision MiSight 1 day contact lenses. These are specially designed for children with high risk factors and clinically proven to slow the progression of myopia.
A child with 1 myopic parent is 3x more likely to be at risk of developing myopia. If both parents are myopic, the likelihood increases to 7x. If your child is at risk, we can prescribe MiSight 1 day soft contact lenses to correct their vision and discourage it from it getting worse. MiSight 1 day contact lenses reduce the rate myopia progresses by up to 50% in comparison to standard glasses or contact lenses.
Other benefits include:
- Child friendly for as young as 8 years old
- Easy to insert and remove
- Comfortable to wear
- Daily disposable for good hygiene and simplicity
- Clear vision for all activities from playing outdoors to school work
Reducing progression of myopia is essential for eye health. If we can reduce myopic progression by 75%, the risk of retinal detachment is reduced by 8x and myopic macular degeneration by 20x. Why take the risk when treatment options are now available?
You can read more about myopia here: