Myopia Management

What is myopia management?

Myopia is also commonly known as being short-sighted or near-sighted. Myopia management is the area of children’s eye care dedicated to slowing down childhood myopia progression. Myopia management involves your child’s optometrist prescribing special types of spectacle lenses or glasses, contact lenses or atropine eye drops to slow down the worsening of their vision. Your child’s visual environment can also affect myopia progression, particularly how much time they spend on screens and reading, and how much time they spend outdoors. 

Myopia management is important because it’s preferable to have lower numbers in a prescription, thinner glasses, and to avoid frequent changes in glasses prescriptions. Generally, once a child becomes myopic it tends to progress, or get worse, every few to several months. The younger a child becomes myopic, the faster they tend to progress, leading to higher levels of myopia. Higher levels of myopia indicate an increase in axial length of the eye, leading to a significantly increased risk of potential vision impairment from various eye diseases. 

Myopia Management - Harris Blake & Parsons

What are the treatment options?

There are 4 main options to reduce the risk of myopia progression in your child – spectacle lenses, daily disposable soft contact lenses, Orthokeratology (Ortho-K) hard contact lenses and atropine eye drops. Please note – using these methods may still give some myopia progression, though the rate at which it is worsening is reduced by an average of 50% compared to normal single vision spectacle lenses.

There’s no right or wrong when it comes to choosing the vision correction your child will use, though recommendations may be made based on age, prescription, or physical capabilities. Ultimately, the best option is the one they will be happiest and most comfortable with when taking into account their hobbies and lifestyle, as we are lucky now to have so many choices to give similar long-term results.

When to test your child’s eyes?

At Harris Blake & Parsons Optometrists, we recommend an eye test for every child before they start school. Checking your child’s eyes before school starts is crucial because undiagnosed vision problems can significantly hinder their learning and academic performance. Early detection of issues like myopia, farsightedness, or astigmatism allows for timely intervention, ensuring that your child can see clearly and engage effectively in classroom activities. Regular eye exams also help identify potential eye conditions or diseases that, if left untreated, may lead to more severe complications later in life.

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