Myopia Control in Western Sydney
At Westmead Eyes Optometrists we offer a range of treatment options to minimise the progression of myopia. This is known as myopia control.
What is myopia?
Myopia, or more commonly short-sightedness, is a common condition that affects over 1.5 billion people across the world. It is a chronic, progressive disease which occurs as the eye grows too long for its optical power. High levels of myopia have serious blinding retinal complications such as glaucoma, macula degeneration, and retinal detachments. It is a serious health issue and can cause sight threatening problems later in life. This is why early detection in children is important as it typically gets worse over time.
The myopia epidemic is real
By 2050, it is predicted that five billion (over 50% of the world’s population) will be myopic.
The age of onset is now much younger than ever before. Children as young as 8 now show signs of myopia. Myopia in 12 year old Australian kids has doubled between 2005 and 2011.
- 33% of children have myopia by the time they finish high school.
- 4% of these children are much more likely to suffer serious eye health problems.
What are the risk factors for myopia progression?
- Onset of myopia before 9 years of age
- Increase in myopia (spectacle prescription) of one diopter/year or more
- Very high myopia (spectacle correction of -8D or greater)
- One or both parents with myopia
- Greater than 2 hours/day on close work (not including school work)
- Less than 90 minutes/day outdoor time
Why does myopia get worse?
The complete reason why is still unknown. Research shows that genetics seem to play a part – in other words, if your parents are short sighted, you will also most likely be short sighted. Myopia has also been linked to our change in visual habits and increased time devoted to near activities such as phones, tablets and computers. Wearing the incorrect glasses prescription, or not wearing any at all when you should be can also cause myopia to increase at a quicker rate. Recent research has also linked myopia with less time spent outdoors.
Treatment Options for Myopia Control
We have a special interest in the care of children and young adults with myopia. Myopia control is not just about stronger glasses or contact lenses. We are trained in numerous options for the control of the progression of myopia.
Orthokeratology (Ortho-K) involves a specialty contact lens that is worn overnight, allowing good vision without the need for glasses during the day. It has been shown to be one of the most effective methods in myopia control.
Medicated Eye Drops
Atropine eye drops can be prescribed to slow down the rate of myopia progression. These must be instilled daily.
Myopia control soft contact lenses
We fit myopia control contact lenses and are certified to fit both CooperVision Misight 1 day and NaturalVue Multifocal Contact lenses. Standard soft contact lenses are not suitable for myopia control.
Myopia control glasses
These may be considered if you or your child is not suitable for contact lenses. We are accredited to fit MiyoSmart spectacle lenses. It is also the first spectacle lens that has shown to be equally effective as orthokeratology and MiSight 1 Day contact lenses in slowing down myopia progression. We are also able to fit Essilor Stellest spectacle lenses to help slow down myopia in children.
Which treatment is best for myopia control?
After your eye test, we will take into consideration all factors and determine a treatment plan which is best for you. Schedule a consultation with us to see if you or your child is a good candidate for myopia control.
A great resource for those interested in reading more about myopia control is My Kids Vision. The site includes a risk calculator for your child’s progression and up to date information on myopia control in an easy to read format.