Myopia Control @ Olympia Optics
What is Myopia?
Myopia is the medical term for nearsightedness or shortsightedness. Nearsighted eyes see nearby objects clearly, while objects far away are blurry without spectacles or contact lenses. Myopia is usually caused by the gradual elongation of the eyeball.
What causes Myopia? Why is it happening?
Genetics and ethnicity definitely play a huge role. If one parent is nearsighted, their child has a 3x greater risk for developing myopia and if both parents are nearsighted, their child has a 6x greater risk.
Time spent on digital devices is clearly implicated in progressing myopia. The child’s environment also plays a role. Research proved that more time spent outdoors may reduce the risk of myopia, especially in very early childhood.
Why treat it?
Myopia is more than stronger, thicker glasses. Myopia in children can become worse as they grow.
High myopia progresses rapidly in the formative years and not only impacts their school and sport performance but could also increase the risk of causing retinal detachment, myopic macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma.
These eye diseases could lead to complications later on in their lives and even vision loss.
What can be done? What are your treatment options?
1. Lifestyle changes
At least 2 hours spent outdoors in the natural daylight per day has been shown to reduce the progression of myopia.
Encourage your child to have an arm’s length distance from their books/digital devices and the light should be sufficient at all times.
Give their eyes a break - The 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes spent for close work, take 20 seconds and look at an object 20 feet (6m) away.
2. Keep their spectacles up to date
Studies have shown that wearing under-corrected spectacles actually prompts the eyes to progress more quickly.
Specifically designed lenses have been widely used to support near vision and simulating the eye to not growing too much.
3. Eye drops Atropine
Using very diluted dilating drops called Atropine can significantly reduce the progression of myopia. Side effects like light sensitivity and difficulty focusing close up are not very common.
Do not worry – we will show you a fun trick to instill the eye drops
4. Multifocal contact lenses
Prescribing soft multifocal contact lenses can moderately slow down the increase of the eye’s axial length by focusing the image differently on the retina.
This is the process of gently moulding the front part of the eye while you sleep with these contact lenses. When removing them in the morning your vision is clear for the whole day.
6. Axial length monitoring
An instrument can measure and monitor the actual length of the eyeball and alert to requiring treatment.
Signs to look out for
· Distance vision becoming blurry
· Moving closer to the TV
· Reduced performance at school
· Tired eyes
· Squinting or screwing up eyes
Sometimes there are no signs at all, as children adapt very well.
Worried about your child's eye health?
Detecting nearsightedness early gives you a better chance to keep your child’s eyes from getting worse. Make an appointment today to have your child's eyes examined.
Call: 061 372 620