Few people may know what myopia is when asked about it, however, when asked about short-sightedness people know a little bit more. Myopia and short-sightedness are one in the same thing, myopic people can see close objects, but objects in the far distance are blurry. It’s a growing epidemic across the world. In 2010, 28% of the world’s population was short-sighted. In 2050, it is predicted to be 50%. What is causing this dramatic increase in myopia? Myopia itself is caused by the eyeball being too long (known as the axial length) compared to the focusing capabilities of the cornea, which in turn affects light hitting the retina causing an image blur rather than a sharp image. See the video below.
The cause of the seeming lack of development in the eye is not 100% certain. However more and more research is being conducted and the way we live our lives in the 21st century may give us a clue. Children spend more and more time indoors looking at digital devices, rather than outside. They spend less time looking in the far distance and more time looking up close when the eyes are still developing. Studies have also suggested that sunlight itself helps with the eyes’ development at a young age. It almost feels a little ironic being sat here writing this article on a digital device that could have contributed to my myopia, but digital devices are here to stay. As myopia becomes more severe it can increase the risk of retinal detachments and glaucoma. There are, however measures we can now take to try and slow down the progression of myopia in children in the form of contact lenses and glasses called myopia management.
Myopia management is when we try to slow down the progression of an increasing short-sighted prescription in a child, therefore reducing the risks of the above diseases later on in life. There are two main solutions we use here in practice that can be used together, Misight contact lenses and Myosmart spectacle lenses.
Misight contact lenses by CooperVision are a multi-focus contact lens to correct short-sighted prescriptions giving crystal clear vision without the need for glasses while also potentially stopping the eye from growing in the way that we mentioned above. Myosmart spectacle lenses by hoya are a dual focus spectacle lens designed to give a similar result. Misight was tested over 3 years and Myosmart over 2 years using large focus groups achieving promising results. Below is an image from CooperVision loosely representing what can happen when using Misight lenses
As you can see, it is possible to slow down that progression. Whether your child prefers spectacles, contact lenses, or both. There is now a solution to suit each child.
Talk to us today about myopia management by calling 01483 272629.