My child is nearsighted, what do I do?
Have you been told by your optometrist that your child has myopia? Myopia (or nearsightedness) is the inability to see objects at a distance clearly. Myopia is often the result of an elongated eye, or longer axial length on average, that inaccurately focuses light in front of, rather than, on the retina.
So why is myopia a problem, besides having to wear vision correction? Longer eyes and higher levels of myopia are associated with a higher risk of eye disease such as maculopathy, retinal degeneration, retinal detachment. It is also associated with thicker and heavier lenses which can make a child uncomfortable when wearing their spectacles.
What can I do to slow down my child’s Myopia Progression?
The good news is that new innovations in technology allow optometrists to control how quickly a child’s nearsightedness can progress. Myopia control or myopia management is using certain treatments to slow down myopia progression in children. Eye care professionals now have many tools in our toolbox to manage the progression of myopia. One of the most recent innovations is a spectacle lens called MiYOSMART from HOYA.
Why is it important to control myopia?
With the increased usage of digital devices and indoor time, children tend to get myopia at an earlier age which can result in higher myopia later in life.
Children with myopia have risks of getting vision-threatening complications such as retinal detachment, glaucoma, cataracts later in life which can potentially lead to blindness. The greater the severity of myopia, the higher the risk of them developing these complications.
Below shows a table that summarizes how the severity of myopia affects the chances of getting eye complications (Flitcroft DI. 2012).
How does the MiYOSMART Lens work?
MiYOSMART is a spectacle lens design that uses D.I.M.S. technology for myopia control which was developed by Hoya in partnership with The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2018.
D.I.M.S stands for Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments. It is the basis of Hoya’s myopia control lenses, known as MiYOSMART. The lens consists of a central optical zone for correcting refractive error and multiple defocus segments evenly surrounding the central zone (extending to the mid-periphery) of the lens to control myopia progression. This provides clear vision and myopic defocus simultaneously at all viewing distances.
- Light entering the eye from straight ahead focuses perfectly on the retina providing crisp, clear distance vision.
- Light entering the eye from the side (peripheral vision) is focused in front of the retina..Creating a myopic defocus (bringing rays in front of the retina) as with MiYOSMART lenses, prevents eyeball (axial length) elongation which is linked to myopia progression
What is the recommended age for MiYOSMART?
In general, MiYOSMART lenses are suitable for patients aged 6-18. It can be prescribed when the first sign of myopia appears and for as long as there are signs of progression. The final determination is made by the Eye Care Professional.
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 traditional glasses. By slowing down the progression of myopia, children see more clearly and have a reduced risk of eye disease later in life.
What are some other myopia management 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
Myopia Management at Komoka Optometry
At Komoka Optometry, we offer the full spectrum of myopia control options. In addition to myopia controlling spectacle lenses from Hoya, we also utilize pharmaceutical eye drops (Atropine), and daily disposable myopia control contact lenses (Misight, Coopervision). We encourage you to reach out to us and learn more on how to control your child’s myopia.