Myopia Control – (shortsightedness control) relates to a change in the way eye specialists manage myopic patients – specifically myopic children with the potential to increase their myopia as they grow. The standard management so far is to prescribe spectacles and occasionally contact lenses for these young growing patients. As the patient becomes more myopic – we simply increase the prescription. Whilst this corrects their vision allowing them to function – it does nothing to influence the progressive myopic changes and increasing power of lens needed – and ultimately the increasing health risks associated with myopia in later life.
LETS START WITH SOME FACTS:
What Causes Myopia?
- When both parents are myopic – Child has 1:2 risk of myopia
- When one parent is myopic – Child has 1:3 risk of myopia
- When neither parent is myopic – Child has 1:4 risk of myopia
- Myopia increases with prolonged near tasks – reading / device use.
- Myopia increases with low levels of outdoor activity
- Myopia increases with poor lighting levels.
What to look out for in your child:
- Distance vision becoming blurry
- Moving closer to the TV
- Poor concentration / complaints of Headaches
- Working in poor lighting
- Tired eyes / squinting or screwing up eyes
- Reduced performance in schools.
Some Massive statistics
- By 2010 1.9 billion people were myopic (30% of the planet)
- By 2020 2.5 billion and by 2050 5 billion will be myopic (50% of the planet)
- By 2050 1 billion people will be at increased risk of myopic eye damage including
- Myopic macular degeneration.
- Need for spectacle correction / cost implications / career implications / sport & social implications.
WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT?
- Standard management to date – Spectacles and Contact lenses.
WHAT IS MYOPIA CONTROL?
Use of special spectacle lenses / special contact lenses / eye drops that have been researched to reduce the amount of myopia progression.
- SPECTACLE LENSES
- Bifocal spectacle lenses have been shown to reduce the amount of myopia progression.
- Varifocal spectacle lenses do no appear to be as successful
- SPECIAL CONTACT LENSES
- Ortho-K Contact Lenses – Hard contact lenses that are worn at night which alter the shape of the cornea at night and correct the myopia. During the day vision is restored to normal allowing the patient to see comfortably during the day.
- Daily disposable multifocal contact lenses – Misight contact lenses by Coopervision. Click on this link for more information.
- Atropine Eye Drops – 0.01% atropine drops have been shown to reduce the rate of myopic progression in children. There are currently two studies in Dublin (May 2019) which are further investigating atropine use within Ireland.