What is Myopia?
Myopia is an eye condition more commonly known as short-sightedness. For people with myopia, distant objects appear blurry. Around 1 in 3 people in the UK are affected by myopia.
Myopia can develop at any age, although typically starts to develop in children between 6-13 years old and progresses as the eyeball grows. Anyone can develop
myopia, however if both parents are myopic, their child has a 50% chance of becoming short-sighted and even if neither parent is myopic, their child has a 25% chance of developing myopia.2
What are the symptoms of myopia?
If you are becoming short sighted, you may notice that distant objects start to look out of focus. For example, the TV screen might appear blurry or you might struggle to see the board clearly in class.
How do I know if my child has myopia?
Children often do not realise that their eyesight isn’t perfect and there are a few key things to look out for.
Your child may regularly rub their eyes and blink a lot, sit too close to the TV, struggle to see the whiteboard at school and complain of headaches or eye strain.
In some cases, there are no symptoms, which is why regular check ups with your optometrist are so important. We encourage parents to bring children in for eye
examinations from a young age, no later than age 3 or 4.
Why is this important?
There is nothing more important than the health and well-being of your child. As well as visual difficulties, myopia can cause health problems in later years. A highly
short-sighted person can be more susceptible to eye conditions such as glaucoma, retinal detachments and myopic maculopathy, which can all cause significant loss of vision, and can even lead to blindness.
Myopia in numbers
In the UK, the prevalence of myopia in children aged between 10-16 years has more than doubled over the last 50 years.3
Around 1 in 3 people in the UK are affected by
By 2050 it is estimated that 50% of the world’s
population will be short-sighted, a fifth of
whom will be at high risk of sight-threatening
conditions as a result.4
What can we do about it?
There are a range of specially designed products available which research shows could help with the
development or progression of myopia, including spectacle and contact lenses.
The independent touch
Cooper & Leatherbarrow have been caring for the eye health of the community for over 30 years. Our passion for eyecare ensures that you receive the highest level of care delivered by our clinical experts using the latest state
of the art technology.
Spend time outdoors
Studies have shown that increasing outdoor time may slow myopia progression. It is considered that natural
outdoor light on the retina protects the eye from lengthening and therefore becoming short-sighted.
Take regular breaks
Reduce your child's eye strain by reminding them to take breaks from screen time. Use the 20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes take a break for 20 seconds and focus on something in the distance.
Seek regular eye examinations
Although there is currently no cure for
myopia, regular eye examinations are
essential to monitoring your child’s vision
and myopia development to be able to
give the best solution available.
Soft contact lenses
There are several soft contact lenses specially designed to reduce the progression of myopia in children. Lenses are worn through the day as a standard one-day soft lens, for a minimum of six days a week.
Studies have shown that some lenses have proven to slow down myopia by up to 59%.
Orthokeratology or Ortho-K contact lenses are worn
overnight to gently reshape the surface of the front of the eye (cornea). They are removed in the morning to give crisp, spectacle and contact lens free vision all day which can be especially useful for those in active sports, particularly contact and water sports.
Traditional spectacle lenses can correct myopia,
however, they don’t stop its progression or the extent of myopia. Using the latest lens design technology, there are now specialist spectacle lenses which could reduce the progression of myopia in children.
Studies have shown that some spectacle lenses have proven to curb myopia progression in children on average by 60%.6
See for yourself
Myopia management is becoming increasingly popular for children and teenagers.
As an independent practice, we have access to the latest contact lenses, spectacle lenses and products on the market.
Our optometrists and dispensing opticians have complete freedom to discuss the available options with you and your child, understand their individual needs and find the best solution for them.
To book an appointment and find out more, contact us or pop into the practice and speak to one of our team members. You can also book online by clicking the link below.