What is Myopia (short-sightedness)?
Myopia, otherwise known as short-sightedness, is an eye condition in which light is focused on the front of the retina rather than directly on its surface, causing a person’s long-distance vision to become blurry. This occurs when the eyeball is too long in relation to the focusing power of the cornea and the lens of the eye. An individual with Myopia usually will be able to see objects nearby clearly but significantly struggle in comparison to see objects further away. Often a person will not realize they have myopia until they have an eye examination by an optometrist such as David.
What causes Myopia?
Myopia is strongly determined by environmental factors, but studies have found that individuals with a family history of Myopia are predisposed to the adverse effects that certain environmental factors have on eye health. Causes include:
Indoor Activities/Lack of Natural Light
What are the risks of myopia?
Untreated myopia can progress to high-level myopia later in life, which is a form of severe short-sightedness. A patient with high-level myopia is at a higher risk of developing optical health issues, such as retinal damage and blindness.
Is it common?
It is a very common condition, affecting approximately fifteen percent of the Australian population. It is estimated that by 2050 half of the world’s population will have myopia.
Myopia Control Treatment
Myopia Control Treatment works, early intervention is the most effective mode of treatment.
Orthokeratology is a treatment that significantly slows myopic progression, whilst also providing temporary visual relief. This treatment is administered via contact lenses worn only at night to gently reshape the cornea of the eye. Once awake, the patient will be able to see clearly for the remainder of the day without the aid of contact lenses or glasses. Follow the link to find out more about Orthokeratology.
Soft contact lenses give the patient clear long-distance vision when worn, whilst also slowing the progression of myopia. The lenses do so by fully correcting the eye’s central vision, giving the patient clear vision wherever they direct their eyes when worn. This is aided by the lenses lowering the correction of a patient’s peripheral vision which reduces the elongation of the eyeball, subsequently slowing myopic progression. Follow the link to find out more about Myopia Control Soft Contact Lenses.
Pharmaceutical eye drops (Atropine and Pirenzepine)
Eye drops are used to reduce further visual reduction but do not restore perfect vision on their own. Eye drops can be used in conjunction with Orthokeratology or soft contact lenses. However, the long-term side effects and permanent efficacy of eye drops are an ongoing subject of clinical research, with other modes of treatment still required to assist for myopic correction.
Standard spectacle lenses
Standard spectacle lenses effectively assist temporary visual correction of myopia but do not control the progression of the condition. Though standard lenses do not damage the eye, research suggests that the peripheral correction of standard spectacle lenses is too strong to prevent the progression of myopia. Strong peripheral correction only encourages further eye growth, leading to further visual loss. Further research is still required to determine the long-term effects of these lenses on myopia.
Specific Myopia Management spectacles
Myopia Management lenses visually correct the eye to the same effectiveness as standard spectacle lenses, whilst simultaneously correcting and controlling the progression of myopia. For patients who are looking to slow myopic progression, we strongly recommend fitting Specific Myopia Management spectacles to your frames to prevent further short-sightedness.
What you can do.
In addition to these treatment strategies, simple lifestyle changes can help prevent the development and progression of myopia. Here are some recommendations:
Take part in outdoor activities
Remember UV protection
Keep Digital Devices at a distance
Ensure you take a break
Turn on the light
Follow the link for more information on Myopia Control Treatment.
Concerned about myopia? Book an eye appointment with David.
Your eyesight doesn’t have to get worse, myopia can be slowed down. If you have any concerns about you or your child’s eyesight, David can answer your questions. Book online or call (08 9335 2602 to see David for a comprehensive eye appointment.