Myopia or nearsightedness is the inability to see things clearly in the distance. It is the most common prescription among children and young adults. The incidence of myopia is expected to increase significantly as lifestyles change. This is particularity important when it comes to children as they take part in more intense near tasks like using digital devices, studying and reading. Spending less time outdoors is also a trend we think contributes to increasing rates of nearsightedness.
CAN WE SLOW DOWN PRESCRIPTION CHANGE?
The good news is that we can now control how quickly a child’s nearsightedness changes. The amount of clinical research in this area has exploded in recent years and we now have many tools in our “toolbox” to choose from. One of the most recent innovations is a spectacle lens called MiyoSmart from HOYA.
HOW DOES THE MIYOSMART LENS WORK?
- Light entering the eye from straight ahead focuses perfectly on retina providing crisp, clear distance vision.
- Light entering the eye from the side (peripheral vision) is focused in front of the retina. This seems to be a strong signal to the eye to stop growing so quickly. It is the growth or lengthening of the eye that causes a child’s prescription to increase.
Above is an actual photo of the MiyoSmart lens from HOYA. You can see that there is a centre button in the lens that has the child’s full prescription so they can see clearly in the distance. There are also hundreds of small “lenslets” surrounding the centre, they look like dimples on a golf ball. These lenslets alter the peripheral vision in such a way that signals to the eye to slow down it’s growth.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS THE LENS?
A 2 year clinical trial was recently performed at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The results of which are published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology. The study showed that the MiyoSmart lens reduced myopia progression by 60% compared to children wearing a traditional glasses. By slowing down the progression of myopia, children see more clearly and have a reduced risk of eye disease later in life. You can also follow this link to the Hoya Canada website for additional information.
OTHER MYOPIA CONTROLLING STRATEGIES
Here are some more strategies to help control your child’s myopia:
- Spend time outdoors, research shows that time spent outside slows down myopia progression.
- Give your eyes a break. Reduce your child’s eye strain by reminding him/her to take breaks from intensive screen time or near work.
- Annual eye exams. Regular checkups are encouraged to ensure that myopia and other vision problems are detected early.
OUR MYOPIA CONTROL CLINIC
At Abbey Eye Care we offer the full spectrum of myopia control options. In addition to myopia controlling spectacle lenses we also utilize prescription eye drops, ortho-k over night contact lenses and soft daily disposable lenses worn during the day. We encourage you to reach out to us and learn more on how to control your child’s myopia.