As the number of myopic patients across the globe keeps increasing, we often talk about ‘myopia control’, which refers to the practice of attempting to slow down the progression of myopia, particularly in children.
According to CooperVision researchers, the number of shortsighted children has significantly increased over the past decade. Myopia is one of the most common issues in children’s eyesight today, with annual myopia progression rate being most rapid under 10 years of age, and greater rates of progression seen especially in children with high myopia.*
More than half of the population in the world could be myopic by 2050, experts say. This 'myopia epidemic' has made myopia control a priority for optical industry leaders, with several research projects focusing on myopia prevention and treatment.
In fact, the number of myopic children is expected to increase. Several factors seem to be contributing to this phenomenon, including more near-work activities including VDU use, less time spent outdoors, and a combination of other hereditary, behavioral and environmental factors.*
Myopia is irreversible, but thanks to myopia control, slowing down the progression of myopia in children is now possible. Special technology glasses and contact lenses are proven to curb myopia progression in children.
What is myopia?
Myopia - also known as shortsightedness or nearsightedness - is the inability of the eye to see objects clearly in the distance.
Normally, light rays focus at the back of the eye – more precisely on the retina – allowing clear vision. In a myopic eye however, light rays focus in front of the retina, resulting in the formation of a blurred image on the retina. This vision problem requires correction typically through glasses or contact lenses.
The severity of myopia is measured in negative numbers, called diopters. Myopia is generally classified into 3 categories:
Myopia in children becomes more common as they grow and is most likely to occur between the ages of 6 and 13 years. Myopia usually runs in families: nearly 1 in 3 children develops shortsightedness when one parent is myopic, and the chance becomes even greater when both parents are (1 in 2 children).
Is myopia dangerous for children?
Parents tend to underestimate the dangers of myopia in children. Correction through glasses certainly is a valid option, but it won’t stop your child’s myopia from worsening. If myopia in children is left untreated, it may get worse with time, turning into high myopia.
Patients with high myopia are known to have a higher chance of developing sight threatening conditions and eye health complications in their life, such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and retinal detachment.
This is why the practice of myopia control specifically focuses on minimising the progression of shortsightedness in children. Our qualified opticians are aware of all the complications and discomforts caused by myopia, and strongly recommend parents to consider myopia control options available to their children.
Myopia Control in children
The best way to take advantage of methods to control myopia is to detect it early. This is where children’s eye tests become crucial. If you suspect your child is shortsighted, booking an eye test is the first step to take.
Not all parents know that children can have an eye test at any age. For children who are still unable to read, our certified Eye Emporium opticians use special charts that allow them to recognise shapes and pictures.
Once your child’s myopia has been detected, corrective spectacles will be required. At this stage, you can opt for myopia control.
Myopia Control with glasses: HOYA MiyoSmart
From leading spectacle manufacturers HOYA comes a revolutionary lens devised to control myopia in children. HOYA MiyoSmart lenses are designed for vision correction and myopia management simultaneously.
MiyoSmart lenses feature a focus zone for full vision correction and a special ring-shaped treatment zone to slow down myopia thanks to the special Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments (D.I.M.S.) Technology.
Based on a two-year clinical trial results on 160 children aged 8-13, MiyoSmart is proven to curb myopia progression in children on average by 59%. The study also showed that children using MiyoSmart lenses had less axial elongation (length of the eye) on average by 60% as compared to those wearing standard lenses.
MiyoSmart spectacle lenses are designed with children’s active lifestyle and dynamic behaviour in mind. With MiyoSmart’s EyeShield, your child’s eyes are protected as lenses are made with polycarbonate, a highly impact resistant material that passed the high velocity impact drop ball test. This material is also thin and lightweight, making MiyoSmart lenses not so heavy on your child’s face with full-time wear. EyeShield also offers UV-protection, for an all-round protective solution both indoor and outdoor.
MiyoSmart lenses are easy to fit, and look just like regular single vision lenses. They are also designed with special coating, which includes water-repellent coating to prevent stains, as well as anti-reflective durable coating built to last longer than conventional anti-reflective coating.
In 2018, HOYA MiyoSmart spectacle lenses won the Gold Prize, Grand Award & Special Gold Award International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, Switzerland.
Myopia Control with contact lenses: CooperVision’s MiSight 1 Day
MiSight 1 Day are the world’s first child-friendly disposable contact lenses clinically proven to slow the progression of myopia in children by 59% on average after 3 years’ wear. These lenses are specifically designed for children, bringing two benefits:
MiSight 1 Day are made from an hydrophilic material, which retains water thus maintaining the lens soft and flexible throughout the day, whilst the ActivControl™ technology utilises dual zones for myopia management and correction.
According to CooperVision clinical studies on MiSight 1 Day, children as young as 8 years were able to handle their lenses confidently soon after initial fitting, while 100% of parents said their children were happy with the experience of wearing contact lenses, including comfort, vision, ease of use and freedom from spectacles.*
Myopia Control at Eye Emporium Opticians
At Eye Emporium Opticians, our myopia control specialists can advise on the best options and type of correction for your child’s myopia. If you are worried about your child’s eyes, we can help you with myopia management to help you guarantee a brighter future to your child.
Please get in touch to find out whether HOYA MiyoSmart lenses or CooperVision's MiSight 1 Day contact lenses are suitable for your child.
We are proud to be part of the 'Eye Care We Care' scheme developed by HOYA. We help the community by raising awareness of the importance of eye screening and myopia control in children. This is why our optometrists periodically arrange to visit local schools in order to educate children, parents and school staff around this topic.
Please visit or call your nearest branch for more information on Myopia Control options at Eye Emporium Opticians.
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