Myopia Management and Treatment for Children
Myopia, also known as near-sightedness, is one of the most common eye defects in the world and a leading health concern in many developed countries, with global prevalence still on the rise. 65% of our children are myopic by 12 years of age, with 83% of young adults being myopic in Singapore. Myopia is a defect of the eye - in the patient’s eyes, distant objects are blurry and unclear.
The Cause of Myopia
The shape of the eyeball affects the refractive prescription. Myopia occurs when the eyeball is too long, or when the cornea is too curved. This means that when light hits the back of the eyes, it will not focus appropriately. This causes far objects to look blurred. Children whose parents are myopic are at risk of having it more than others.
Symptoms of Myopia
- Headache due to strain on the eye
- Difficulty seeing objects that are far
- Frequent Squinting
- Inability to read directly from the whiteboard
- Moving closer than usual to distant objects, such as when watching television
Optometrists are primary eye care providers who specialise in performing eye examinations to diagnose eye conditions such as myopia.
How to Treat Myopia
There is no one size fit all method for treating myopia. Deciding on a suitable correction for you will require a collaborative effort between your age, lifestyle, and optometrists’ recommendations.
In children, constant usage of corrective eyeglasses is recommended. There are several types of lenses, such as bifocal lenses, single vision lenses and Myopia control lens design.
Ortho-K lenses are reshaping therapy lenses worn overnight. These lenses gently correct the patient’s vision by reshaping the cornea.
Atropine Eye Drops
Ophthalmologists commonly prescribe these eye drops targeted at slowing down myopia.
Myopia Management Soft Contact Lenses
These contact lenses are known to have optical centres that can slow down the progression of myopia.
Myopia Control Spectacle Lenses
These lenses are specially designed to not only correct existing myopia and enable clear and near vision, but also to slow down myopia progression. Studies show they are also the most convenient option for younger patients compared to other options.
Myopia control contact lenses are characterized with lifelong benefits that can slow down the progression of myopia by approximately 60%. A two-year consecutive study of myopic children within the age of 8 to 13 years shows a 62% myopia control effect using such lenses.
Benefits of Myopia Control Lenses
- Myopia control lenses help to preserve the vision of your child and correct the near-sightedness which brings about clear vision.
- Studies shows that using myopia control lens reduces the rate of myopia progression, thereby lowering the risk of visual impairment later in life.
Proper myopia management can reduce myopia progression, thereby reducing the risk of other ocular abnormalities.
Optical 88 in-house optometrists are well-trained in managing myopia and prescribing myopia control lenses. In addition, they can perform other diagnostic tests to check for colour vision deficiencies, squint, binocular vision function, etc.