Understanding what Myopia is and how you can intervene

Recently, the general public opinion has been that myopia is more of an inconvenience than a health concern. However, at Richard Petrie Optometrists, we are fully aware of the importance of eye health and what the best ways are to help manage it. Below is all you need to know about myopia, myopia management, and how it increases the risk of eye disease later in life as well as cause reliance on visual corrections.

What’s the general consensus on myopia?

Myopia is about much more than needing a prescription to see more clearly. Being shortsighted doesn’t just mean you can wear glasses and suddenly everything can be fixed, we now have access to potential solutions.

At Richard Petrie’s, as optometrists, we are dedicated to helping people understand more about myopia and what can be done to help manage it. Carry on reading to gain an insight into what this eye disease is and why we are working to raise awareness of it.

How to detect myopia from an early age?

People with myopia can usually see clearly close up, but long-distance is quite blurry. To find out if your child has myopia, you need to get their eyes examined regularly with an optometrist. There are signs that you can look out for from a child’s early years, but it is important to get them reviewed and we recommend at least every 12 months if they don’t wear any glasses, possibly more often if they do. We review all of our myopic children with growing eyes at least every 6 months.

If you notice your child complaining that the television is blurry or they have headaches or you see them squinting or moving closer to the TV than normal, it is worth consulting an optometrist. A child’s schoolteacher can also help in this regard in spotting changes to visual habits. They can help you to assess the child’s learning and detect if they are regularly squinting or not. This is another sign of myopia and helps you to learn what challenges your child may have to deal with.

Why not just wear glasses?

If you are shortsighted, does it matter? Can you not just wear glasses? If a child does have myopia then it can cause various issues at school if a child cannot see clearly, they may lose interest and lose confidence in some instances this can be unsettling and lead to disruptive behaviour or a lack of participation. Myopia often leads to deterioration of the vision due to its progressive nature, and as a result, thicker glasses (which can become heavy). Of course, you can pay to have glasses thinned down but sometimes even that is not enough for those with the highest prescription. It can also result in issues if your child is a keen sports player. They wouldn’t be able to play whilst wearing glasses and it would be difficult and probably dangerous to play sports like rugby without clear vision.

Slowing down the progression of myopia with ‘myopia management’

Myopia management helps to slow down the progression of myopia and vision deterioration by around 50% on average. This can be done in the form of special contact lenses. You can have hard lenses which you can wear overnight. Think of these types of lenses as similar to a dental retainer which would you wear overnight to help straighten your teeth. You can then also wear daily disposable lenses during the day with a special ‘treatment zone’. Both have the same objective, to slow down myopia as much as possible.

Why do you need to reduce myopia?

Myopia can cause issues in later life if not managed correctly. If you get to it at the earliest possible opportunity and opt to manage it, you could reduce your prescription worsening into your adult life. This sort of technology has not always been around but now is the time to make a difference for your children.

Myopia management also leads to a much lower risk of eye disease. This is naturally important and it is worth considering that if you have the chance, you do something about it. At Richard Petrie Optometrists, we are passionate about this subject and want to make life as easy as possible for the next generation by making myopia management options accessible to you.

What are the next steps to take with myopia management?

2021 saw the launch of the first 2 spectacle lenses for myopia management.  With evidence showing they reduced myopia progression significantly after randomised controlled studies were launched in the UK, these now make access to starting young easier than ever.

The lenses can reduce the rate of myopia progression by up to 67% on average. At Richard Petrie, we are delighted to announce that we are accredited to measure for and dispense specific lenses. You can read more about that here.

As Optometrists who are highly skilled and ambassadors for this service, we are well versed in helping you to manage your myopia management.

2022 will also see us go full circle and we will announce when we are also ready to offer and fit Ortho K contact lenses so all options will be available to you in Littleover…watch this space.

Can myopia be cured?

Myopia cannot be cured. That is why it is known as myopia management. The techniques used do not guarantee any results, but there is sufficient evidence to confirm that they do work for some children with no side effects and minimal complications. The children in the scientific trials showed great results on average, this means some responded more than others. You can still expect to find that your child’s prescription does change and progress, we would hope that this would be at a slower rate though, than if there was no management intervention adopted.

Although there is no ‘fix’, the long-term effects are beneficial for you even if you save just 1 Dioptre of myopia overall.

Other tips that can support myopia management:

  • At least 90 minutes per day of outdoor time during daylight hours
  • Keep near vision tasks at least 30cm away from the eyes…not too close
  • Have regular breaks every 30 minutes from near vision tasks and during the breaks, look further away in the distance

How to get in contact about myopia management?

The experts at Richard Petrie Optometrists discuss myopia management and talk about what assistance we can offerWe have a wider range of methods now available at the practice to assist you in looking after the long-term eye health of your family.

Get in contact with Richard Petrie here or preferably give us a call on 01332 291010.

    • Initial assessment £77 (assessment complimentary for existing plan members). The myopia management direct debit plan costs £45 per month which includes:

      Axial length measurement with Myopia Expert 700 and plotting progression data for each child at least every 6 months (more frequently if required)

  • Optomap retinal imagingStellest or MiYoSmart spectacle lenses (included in the monthly fee)

Follow up telephone consultation 2 weeks after initial collection

1 prescription change included within a 12 month period if the prescription changes by 0.75ds or more (identified at the eye examination)

£40 off frames and all adjustments as needed

Accidental damage cover when complete pair purchased (new frames and lenses)

Emergency appointments included

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