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  • Jonathan Joffe

The risk of Short Sightedness

Myopia: A child’s perspective

World Vision’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) programmes aim for one outcome: healthy children living up to their full developmental potential. Is this not the dream of every parent?

Evidence is mounting that myopia is growing around the world, with a recent study estimating that on average, 30% of the world is currently myopic and by 2050, based on current trends, almost 50% will be myopic, that’s a staggering 5 billion people.

Today we have access to various treatment options that reduce the progression of Myopia during early childhood. The most important aspect is to provide good optical correction to the child to allow normal vision development; providing spectacle lenses is meeting the goal halfway.

Due to the normal shape of the curved eyeball, spectacle corrected vision does impose a stimulus for eye elongation (axial length growth) hence further treatment is needed to not only provide clear vision but to safeguard the child’s short sightedness from getting worse.

Download the Clinical Myopia Profile here.

Contact lenses versus Spectacle lenses

At Olympia Optics we are confident to acknowledge that contact lenses* are a superior form of vision correction in juvenile Myopia. (*contact lenses such has Centre Distance Multifocal Soft Contact Lenses and Orthokeratology).

Various forms of uniquely designed spectacle lenses may be preferred if the child has a strained near task focus (spasm of accommodation / lead of accommodation / eso phobic conditions)


A novel therapy that involves overnight corneal shape molding that allows for good unaided vision during waking hours. A orthokeratology lens or mold is applied before sleeping and removed on waking. Your child's vision is temporarily corrected and no glasses or contact lenses need to be worn during the day. Latest strategies show that this is highly effective in preventing the eye from growing longer.


Apart from providing clear focus, Atropine and anti-muscarinic agent in a highly diluted form (0.01% - 1.0%) is a great choice for preventing progressive myopia. This treatment modality can be prescribed adjacent to spectacles wear or in combination of myopia controlling contact lens modalities. The difficulty of accessing this drop is known, only compounding pharmacies can provide patients the desired concentration Atropine drop. Possible side effects, such as light sensitivity and pupil size enlargement are known.

Is my child at risk?

Myopia development is of multifactorial nature. Evidence shows that if both parents are myopic, the child has an 5 x fold increased chance for developing myopia. (one parent 2 x increased risk)

Extended near exposure, such as playing games on digital surfaces at close range also induce further risk.

Limited outdoor sunlight exposure and poor nutrition (*high sugar diet) have also been found to further increase the risk.

Find out your child's risk here:

Book an appointment to have your child’s vision assessed now.

Olympia Optics 061-372620

written by Simone Klose B.Optom

Myopia Control Specialist

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