What is Myopia?
Myopia, commonly called shortsightedness, is when you cannot see things clearly in the distance. You may struggle to read road signs and the white board at school, but will be able to see well for close up tasks such as reading and computer work.
As well as having difficulty seeing distance objects, other signs include squinting, eyestrain and headaches.
There is an epidemic of myopia in this generation.
It affects 30% of the world’s population and in parts of South East Asia (e.g. Taiwan and Singapore) 80% of secondary schools students suffer from myopia, with many children beginning to show myopia at earlier ages (from age 5 and 6).
What are the Causes of Myopia?
In myopia the eye becomes too long and the light rays focus in front of the retina. Myopia has a genetic predisposition but even more so myopia is linked to environmental factors, with increased myopia being caused by children spending less time outside.
Myopia is not only a vision issue, it can also affect your eye health.
With higher levels of myopia, there is a higher risk of eye disease in adulthood. Retinal detachment, cataract, myopic macular degeneration and glaucoma are all increasingly more likely with higher levels of myopia.
What is Myopia Control
‘Myopia control’ describes the use of treatments aimed to slow progression of myopia.
These treatments include particular types of spectacle lenses (glasses), soft contact lenses, ortho-k and atropine eye drops.
Myopia control is particularly important for children, because this is the stage in life when myopia is most likely to progress or get worse quickly.
Current research tells us it is important to both correct vision, as well as actively manage myopia, in order to slow the progression of myopia.
This is especially true with children:
- Children with higher levels of advanced myopia develop into adults with an increased risk of serious sight threatening eye diseases, from retinal detachment and glaucoma to cataracts and myopic macular degeneration
- If children become increasingly dependent on glasses with higher prescriptions, this can have an huge impact on their lives and activities they participate in.