Helping young eyes have a brighter future
What is Myopia?
Myopia is an eye condition commonly known as short-sightedness. For myopic people, distant objects appear blurry. 1 in 3 people in the UK are affected by myopia.1
Myopia can develop at any age, although typically starts to develop in children between 6-13 years old and progresses as the eyeball grows. If both parents are short-sighted, their child has a 50% chance of becoming short-sighted too.2
What are the symptoms?
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 it 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.
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.
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
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
The independent touch
We have been caring for the eye health of the community for over 25 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.
There are several ways in which myopia can either be prevented or controlled once it has developed, including spectacle and contact lens solutions.
2. Mew-May Wu M, Edwards MH. The Effect of Having Myopic Parents: An Analysis of Myopia in Three Generations. Optometry and Vision Science. 1999 Jun 1;76(6):387–92
3. McCullough SJ, O’Donoghue L, Saunders KJ (2016) Six Year Refractive Change among White Children and Young Adults: Evidence for Significant Increase in Myopia among White UK Children. PLoS ONE 11(1)
4. Holden BA, Fricke TR, Wilson DA, Jong M, Naidoo KS, Sankaridurg P, Wong TY, Naduvilath TJ, Resnikoff S, Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050, Ophthalmology, May 2016,123(5), 1036–1042. . Holden BA, Fricke TR, Wilson DA, Jong M, Naidoo KS, Sankaridurg P, Wong TY, Naduvilath TJ, Resnikoff S, Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050, Ophthalmology, May 2016,123(5), 1036–1042
5. Chamberlain P, Back A, Lazon P, et al. Three-year effectiveness of a dual-focus 1 day soft contact lens for myopia control. Presented at the 40th British Contact Lens Association Clinical Conference and Exhibition; 10 June 2017; Liverpool, United Kingdom.
6. Lam CSY, Tang WC, Tse DY, Lee RPK, Chun RKM, Hasegawa K, Qi H, Hakanaka T, To CH. Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments (DIMS) spectacle lenses slow myopia progression: a 2-year randomised clinical trial. British Journal of Ophthalmology. Published Online First:29 May 2019. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2018-313739