Myopia or shortsightedness is a condition in which objects at a distance are out of focus. People with myopia will be able to see well at a near viewing distance e.g. reading, but seeing road signs, looking at presentations and watching TV will be difficult.
What causes myopia?
Myopia can be passed down genetically. Children with one myopic parent are 3 times more likely to be myopic by age 13 years than those without myopic parents. Children with 2 myopic parents are 7 times more likely to be myopic by age 13 years. Other risk factors include regular prolonged periods of near viewing such as reading and tablet/cellphone use, as well as reduced outdoor time and exposure to sunlight.
According to the Brien Holden Vision Institute, about 30% of the world’s population is myopic. It is estimated that by 2050 this figure will increase to 50%.
Why is myopia problematic?
Aside from needing optical devices in order to see clearly, myopes also face a greater risk of ocular health complications such as retinal detachment (4x increased risk in mild myopes and 10x increased risk in high myopes compared to non-myopes), cataracts and glaucoma. Studies showed that reducing myopia progression by 50% reduces the risk of retinal pathology ten-fold.
What can be done?
Encourage children to spend more time outdoors. The CLEERE study (1999) found that children that spend more time outdoors and have more exposure to natural light had a smaller chance of becoming myopic.
At Vision By Design we offer the full range of optical myopia control methods including spectacle lenses specifically designed for myopia control, speciality soft daywear contact lenses, and orthokeratology. The various options will be discussed to find the optimal solution for your child.