What to expect from a Myopia Management consultation

Myopia and it’s management, awareness of and spreading information about is one of my more recent purposes and passion as an Optometrist and parent alike.

We CAN now inform families with lifestyle advice and healthy visual tips, we CAN rely on the science to access real products that CAN help out children’s long term eye health and vision.

If you are hearing about Myopia Management for the first time, do not be fooled that this is ‘new’ territory. Research and clinical trials have been going on for decades to lead to the products we now have access to based on evidence to help us be relevant when monitoring eye growth in children.

What should I ask during my consultation?

If you have found a practice who have experience and an interest in Myopia Management, you would hope that most of your questions are answered and go away feeling informed but with choices to make.

It is really important to include your child in the conversation about their vision and eyes and important that your Optometrist does the same. Even when relatively young, most children understand what it means when they are told that they “need to wear glasses”…and often they follow this with “will I need them forever!?” or something along those lines.

We can explain directly to them that they need glasses to see better but also keep their eyes healthy. We can liken the conversation around things they are familiar with, such as their ‘eyes are growing, just like their feet grow’ when they are young and that we want to ‘measure how much they grow’ and that by ‘wearing their glasses they can help this especially when they wear a special lens’.

You will be informed if your child is short-sighted or myopic and whether this has progressed or not. This could be according to their prescription but also, more accurately, AXIAL LENGTH, which is the length of the eyeball.

Axial length is measured using technology specifically designed for this, quickly and easily without any pain or contact. This is the best way to assess the actual length of the eye and monitor it’s growth if it is repeatedly measured. Used alongside growth curves, we can assess growth and rate of change and how this compares to children’s eye growth based on their age, much like height or weight is assessed for babies.

 

What are my options?

If a new prescription or the first pair of glasses are needed, you will have some options:

The options would be discussed based around:

  • Your child’s prescription
  • Age and capabilities
  • Lifestyle: ‘30:30:out’ Limit close work outside of school to 30 minutes before a break, hold the close reading material at least 30cm viewing distance and get OUTdoors in daylight each day for at least 90 minutes.
  • Activities

The table below is a very simple summary of the current options you will most frequently come across.

 

Resources

There are many parent and child friendly resources that your Optometrist can point you towards as well as providing leaflets and being available to answer any questions you have. Online resources also exist and are numerous.

I would expect that your initial consultation to cover all of the above and answer any queries would mean that your initial consultation is between 30-45 minutes long.

Always contact your Optometrist to answer any further queries to satisfy yourself that you have made the best decision for your family.

Spread the word

If you notice children in your extended family or in your child’s class are now wearing glasses, ask their parents if they know about myopia management to spread the awareness as this message still needs to go wider.

Let your child’s teacher know that they are wearing spectacles which are also a treatment so they need to be worn full time and fitting correctly and this will also help them to learn about the scope longer term eye health benefits of myopia management since teachers are often the first to spot vision changes.

 

HEALTHY TIPS

  1. Spend time outdoors – Aim to get at least 90 minutes per day of daylight time
  2. Try to limit close tasks to 30 minutes and then have a break
  3. Keep close viewing distances of near vision material at least 30cm away
  4. Have regular eye examinations
What to expect from a Myopia Management consultation
What to expect from a Myopia Management consultation

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Your Child's Vision: Signs of Shortsightedness (Myopia)
Your Child's Vision: Signs of Shortsightedness (Myopia)

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