Myopia, or short-sightedness, has become worryingly prevalent and has reached epidemic levels. An estimated 2.5 billion people will be affected worldwide by 2020*. The condition is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. So, a child is more likely to develop myopia if one or both of their parents have the condition, but the recent prevalence cannot be explained by genetics alone. Unfortunately, a childhood diagnosis of myopia means life-long eye care and worse still, the condition brings with it a higher risk of developing serious eye conditions, such as retinal detachment and glaucoma.
What is Myopia?
For people who are myopic, near objects are clear while distant objects appear blurry. This is usually because the eye becomes too long to focus correctly.
*The Myopia Epidemic – Brien A Holden
Myopia management is a way to prevent the progression of nearsightedness in children and young adults. This includes implementing a comprehensive approach that combines vision correction and lifestyle modifications such as outdoor activities, healthy diet, and regular eye examinations.
Research indicates that children who are genetically predisposed to myopia (children with short-sighted parents) can reduce their chances of developing the condition by increasing the amount of time they spend outdoors.
It is believed that natural outdoor light on the retina protects the eye from lengthening and therefore becoming myopic. Around 14 hours a week spent outdoors has been shown to reduce the chance of a person becoming myopic – even in overcast weather. Unfortunately, once a child becomes short-sighted, the amount of time spent outdoors ceases to impact on the eye, so exposure to natural light is only preventative. It should however, be considered from as early in a child’s life as possible. Contrary to previous theories, excessive homework or reading are not factors that contribute to the onset of myopia.
For children who are myopic, there is currently no cure. The physical change of the elongated eyeball cannot be reversed (even laser-eye surgery can’t do this). That is why myopia control is so important.
The aim is to slow down, or halt, the progression of myopia, and this is becoming increasingly effective, especially in children and teenagers. Orthokeratology (or ortho-k) is playing a key role in myopia control all over the world. Recent studies have indicated that myopia develops at a much slower rate and can even be halted when children are fitted with ortho-k lenses. The results vary for each child, but most experts maintain that these lenses are the best available option for children suffering from myopia.
Some of the most common methods of myopia management include specialised eyewear, contact lenses, therapeutic drugs, and surgeries. Specialised eyewear like Ortho-K lenses can be used at night to reshape the cornea so that during the day one does not need glasses for improved vision.
Contact lenses can also correct near-sightedness but often require frequent replacement due to the risk of infection and other complications. Therapeutic drugs like atropine eye drops can slow myopia progression in children by temporarily blocking the signals that cause myopia.
Finally, myopia surgery is a more permanent solution and involves reshaping the cornea with laser technology or implanting an intraocular lens.
Why is Myopia Management Important?
Myopia management is important to preserve good vision in young people and can help prevent other ocular health issues like glaucoma or retinal detachment down the line. It is important for parents and guardians of myopic children to discuss myopia management options with their eye care professional, who will decide on the best method depending on the individual’s needs.
By incorporating myopia prevention into your child’s care, you can help reduce their risk of myopic progression and protect their vision for years to come. The earlier myopia management is started, the more successful treatment will be in preventing further progression. Overall, myopia management is an effective way to ensure long-lasting healthy eyesight into adulthood.
Signs and Symptoms of Myopia
Signs and symptoms of myopia include:
- Blurred vision when viewing objects in the distance
- Difficulty focusing on far away objects
- Squinting or headaches while trying to view distant objects
- Eye fatigue
- Headaches while reading or doing close work
- Short arms syndrome (holding books closer than usual)
EyeDream is a form of orthokeratology. These groundbreaking lenses are worn overnight to gently reshape the front of the eye. In the morning, the lenses are removed and the wearer can enjoy crisp, corrected vision all day. EyeDream lenses are effective, affordable and have proved life-changing for thousands of people.
An innovative spectacle lens
This spectacle lens is based on revolutionary Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments (D.I.M.S.) Technology
This was developed in collaboration with The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2014. MiYOSMART spectacle lenses are easy to fit and look just like a regular single vision lens.
In 2018, MiYOSMART spectacle lenses won the Gold Prize, Grand Award & Special Gold Award International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, Switzerland. In 2020, they also won the Silmo d’Or Award in the Vision category at the Silmo Paris Optical Fair.
A revolutionary technology
With the exclusive non-invasive D.I.M.S. Technology, the lens provides a full vision correction and has a ring shaped treatment zone to slow down myopia progression
The combination of the focus zone and treatment zone provides clear vision and manages myopia simultaneously.
Designed to suit a child’s active life
MiYOSMART spectacle lenses have an easy-to-clean specific anti-reflective, durable coating. With MiYOSMART’s Eye Shield, young patients get the added assurance of an impact resistant material and UV protection.
Published scientific studies in the British Journal of Ophthalmology
Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments (DIMS) spectacle lenses slow myopia progression: a 2-year randomized clinical trial. (Published 11 Dec. 2019)
Myopia control effect of Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments (DIMS) spectacle lens in Chinese children: results of a 3-year follow-up study. (Published Online First: 17 March 2021)