Myopia Control

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What is Myopia (short-sightedness)?

Myopia, or short-sightedness, is a condition where you can see well at ‘short distances but ‘long’ distances are blurry. Short-sighted people often report difficulty distinguishing details on road signs and scoreboards.

Parents will often notice their child “squinting” the lids together in an attempt to see clearer. This works by narrowing the aperture they are looking through which temporarily clears the image on the back of the eye.

Myopia Awareness Week

Why does Myopia occur?

Myopia tends to first develop during school age, as the eye grows to full adult size. If the eye grows longer, it focuses light in front of the eye, causing myopia.

Myopia occurs either due to genetic or environmental factors. There is a fair body of evidence that time spent outdoors can slow the onset of myopia.

One study found that when children on average spend less than 90 minutes a day outside, they are at higher risk of myopia. (Rose KA et al. Outdoor activity reduces the prevalence of myopia in children. Ophthalmol. 2008 Aug;115(8):1279-85). Whilst there is not a clear link between screen time and myopia it makes sense that this could be a cause. The earlier myopia begins, the faster the prescription is likely to progress. This is unless strategies are commenced to reduce myopic progression.

What is the risk of myopic progression?

With myopia the eye elongates and the retina stretches over this increased area. This stretching, and subsequent thinning is linked with an increased risk of eye diseases later in life.
More immediately as your myopia gets worse your distance vision gets worse. Causing issues such as reduced vision when not wearing your spectacles or contact lenses.

Key Symptoms of Myopia?

Myopia is also known as short-sightedness.  When you are short-sighted it is easier to see at short distances. However, that means that your distance vision is poor.  With early myopia you will notice that it is difficult to see signs in the distance, or you may not be able to make out people’s faces as they approach.

How is Myopia treated?

Traditionally, myopia is corrected with single vision contact lenses or spectacles. This corrects for the distance blur but does not help to slow the progression of myopia. Myopia control is the field of optometry which uses therapies to slow the progression of myopia. There is an abundance of well researched data in this field.

The main therapies are:

1. Orthokeratology:
the use of hard contact lenses worn at night to reshape the eye providing clear vision and myopia control benefits.

2. Soft multifocal contact lenses:
these are worn during the day and use the same principle as Ortho-k to slow myopia progression.

3. Spectacle lenses for myopia control:
there are a number of options in this space such as multifocals, DIMS lenses and bifocals.

4. Medical Therapy:
special compounded eyedrops are used at night, glasses or contact lenses are still worn during the day.

Make an appointment to discuss which option is best for your child/yourself.

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Common Questions & Answers

Myopia Control FAQs

How to book a consultation?

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What experience does Gavin Boneham have?

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Why makes Boneham Optometrist's different?

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What are the primary eye conditions you treat?

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Is there warranty on frames and lenses?

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What happens at the initial comprehensive consult?

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What types of complex eye conditions do you treat?

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Do you supply custom hard lenses?

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