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What Is Myopia?
Myopia is known as short-sightedness or near-sightedness. This condition causes our distance vision to be blurred. Myopia is the most common refractive error among children and young adults. The earlier a child gets myopia, the more likely he or she will become a high myope as an adult. Myopia tends to rapidly increase from the age of 5 to 15 years old, and usually stabilizes in the twenties. Myopia occurs when the eyeball is longer than a normal eye. The elongation of the eyeball causes light rays to focus at a point in front of the retina, rather than directly on the retina. This results in a mismatch between the length of the eye and its focusing power. Thus, distant objects are blurry to the eye.
What Causes Myopia Progression?
Factors that can contribute to this are:
Especially if both parents are myopic.
- Wearing glasses all day, could potentially lead to myopia worsening.
If a child has low myopia, glasses are not needed for near vision tasks, such as reading, writing, or completing homework. Of course, children with moderate to high myopia need to wear their glasses for both near and distant vision, so in their case, this factor cannot be controlled.
- Wearing glasses with full correction may also contribute to myopia progression.
If a child has a refractive error of -2.50 diopter, some eye practitioners will prescribe an under corrected lens of -2.25 or -2.00 diopter. Under correction is optimal because prescribing the full optical prescription of -2.50 diopter, might provide significantly clearer vision, but could contribute to myopia worsening over time.
- Limited outdoor play time
Studies have found that this causes myopia progression, mainly if the child spends less than 1-2 hours outside per day.
- Prolonged near vision tasks
Any reading, writing, computer use, smartphone use, etc. have been shown to be a possible cause of myopia progression. Prolonged usage of digital devices can place excessive stress on a child’s focusing skills, which can lead to eyestrain and myopia progression.
What Can Myopia Cause?
High myopia may raise your child’s risk of developing more serious sight conditions later in life, such as cataracts, detached retinas and glaucoma. Left untreated, high myopia complications can lead to blindness, so regular eye exams are critical.
Solution Of Myopia Progression
- HABITS & LIFESTYLE MODIFICATION
For many children, relaxation from studies is usually time with digital devices, which can contribute to further myopia progression. Outdoor play time is essential for children with myopia as it gives the eye muscles a chance to relax and take a break from constant near focusing activities.
Atropine eye drops have been used by ophthalmologists for years to control myopia progression. This eye drop dilates the pupils and temporarily paralyzes the focusing muscle inside the eye. It also relaxes the eyes' focusing mechanisms.
Ortho-K, also known as OK-lens or orthokeratology. This is a specialty contact lens that acts like braces to the eyes. The lenses reshape the eye to allow clear vision in the daytime and control myopia at the same time. No glasses or contact lenses are required for the rest of the day. OK lens proves to be the most effective way in controlling myopia progression.
It has 3 main key benefits:
- MYOPIA CONTROL CONTACT LENSES
For children that are not suitable for ortho-k lenses, there are also soft contact lenses options. These soft contact lenses are worn during the day, it is a specially designed contact lens that controls myopia progression and brings clear vision to the child at the same time. These daily disposable contact lenses bring about convenience, also no need to worry about protein/lipid deposits or build up, therefore hassles in cleaning the lenses are removed.
- MYOPIA CONTROL SPECTACLE LENSES
For children who are not suitable or younger children who are not ready for contact lenses, there are also various spectacle options. These lenses are specifically designed to allow us to control where and how images are formed and positioned in the eyes. This has also been found to be an effective method in slowing down myopia growth. The child will also be educated by the practitioner on how to use the glasses correctly.