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What is Myopia?

Myopia is perhaps the most common vision disorder, and is usually picked up in childhood or adolescence – perhaps because it seems to progress the most between the ages of eight and 15.

Commonly referred to as ‘short sighted’ or ‘near sighted’, myopia is the medical term given for when a person cannot see distant objects clearly. It is thought that the light entering the eye from a distance is focussed too early, and so the image is blurred.

Children with myopia may have difficulty seeing the board at the front of the classroom, while adults may notice that they are unable to read street signs.

Try out the Myopia Vision Simulator Tool to see how myopia affects a child’s ability to participate at school!

 

Myopia has traditionally been treated with the wearing of prescription lenses, to help compensate for distance blur. However, as vision tends to worsen over time, frequent prescription updates are required.

Normal Vision

Normal Vision

myopia

Myopia

Why Myopia is Becoming Much More Common

Research into myopia control and treatment has become increasingly important for two main reasons.

  1. Rising rates of myopia worldwide.

Optometry Australia has even described it as a “myopia epidemic” in our children.

While approximately 30% of the worldwide population is currently affected by myopia, this is set to increase to 50% by 2050.

This is because both genetic and environmental / lifestyle factors contribute to the condition, and our ever-increasing reliance on technology and digital devices is largely to blame.

  1. Myopia increases the risk of other serious vision problems later in life.

Eye care experts used to think that myopia was benign, however we now know that this is not the case.

People with myopia are much more likely to develop serious eye conditions in the future, such as macular degeneration, retinal detachment, glaucoma and cataracts, all of which could lead to permanent vision loss.

While myopia is a lifelong condition with no cure, research has now revealed that it is possible to slow, halt, or even reverse its progression.

Options for Myopia Control and Treatment

Treatment strategies to control myopia range from simple lifestyle modifications to prescription lenses and more invasive options. For example:

  • Careful attention to vision hygiene. Recognising that prolonged near tasks are a contributing factor, as your local myopia control centre we can advise on vision therapy as well as proper posture, working distance, lighting and other techniques to reduce visual stress.
  • Outdoor time. Now more than ever, it’s important to ensure that children have a healthy balance of screen and outdoor time.
  • Atropine eye drops. These prescription eyedrops containing a low dose of atropine, usually administered at bedtime, have been found to decrease the rate of myopia progression by about half.
  • Spectacles fitted with Hoya MiYOSMART or Zeiss MyoVision Pro / MyoKids lenses.
  • Wearing CooperVision MiSight disposable soft contact lenses during the day; or Ortho K lenses during the night.
  • Laser surgery is mainly suitable for young adults with myopia, as an alternative to wearing glasses or contact lenses. While it remains effective for several years it is not a permanent solution.

Myopia control is all about giving the individual better vision now, and preventing serious problems down the track.

To find out more about the latest advancements and strategies in myopia management, book an appointment at Aphrodite Livanes Optometrists Eyecare Plus Alexandra Hills – your local myopia control centre in the Redlands.

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