Children's Vision & Myopia Management
A mum to two kids herself, Gemma takes a keen interest in performing eye test for children. She assesses not only the vision and how well your child can see, but also their focusing ability and eye muscle control as these are important aspects in a learning environment and play a part in the ability to read and maintain concentration. Gemma has set up her consulting room to be as child friendly as possible to help put nervous young minds at ease, and she loves nothing more than when one of her younger patients draws her a picture for her Wall of Champions. To book a fully bulkbilled appointment with Gemma contact us today or phone 8726 9977
Child Myopia Management
Myopia (shortsightedness) occurs when the eye grows too long and causes things to be blurred in the distance. It can be inherited, but there are also lifestyle factors that can contribute to myopia. It typically starts in childhood and can get progressively worse until the child stops growing, with the ages of around 7-12 being the highest risk factor for growth.
There is evidence that myopia is increasing world wide, and it is estimated that by the year 2050 more than half the world’s population will have myopia(1). This is of concern as myopia does not simply cause blurred vision, it can also contribute to other conditions such as glaucoma, retinal detachment, cataracts and myopic macular degeneration(2). So if we have the means to potentially reduce it, we should right?
Many myopic people remember their eyes deteriorating during their childhood and teen years but there was little you could do about it other than keep your glasses prescription up to date every year. It surprises many people, but these days you don’t have to simply “sit back and wait” for your child’s eyes to get worse. We can slow down the progression of myopia in children with a few simple options. Yet despite this, the majority of Optometrists still prescribe myopic children standard single vision glasses, which do nothing for slowing myopia progression.
At Beaconsfield Eyecare we believe in offering you ALL the options so you can make an informed choice about the best treatment for your child’s eyes.
Increase your child’s chances against myopia
These days we have several options that can help minimise and slow the progression of myopia. This can lead to better long term health of the eye, and even make something like corrective laser surgery a more viable option in the future.
At Beaconsfield Eyecare we have a special device to measure the length of your child’s eye. This is a quick, no-contact procedure that is the most accurate method to monitor the ongoing success of your treatment. Remember, myopia is all about the eyeball growing too long.
D.I.M.S glasses lenses.
These are specialised glasses lenses that include hundreds of little lens lets that each provide myopic defocus. In a nut shell, they provide simultaneous clear vision along with some mild myopic defocus in front of the retina, which means they reduce the growth of the eye but still allow you to see clearly. They have been shown to reduce the progression of myopia and growth of the eye by approximately 60%. (4) They look like normal glasses lenses when worn so cosmetically they can be a better option than other types of lenses used in myopia prevention. As they are completely non invasive this can be a good first option, especially in young kids.
Less screen time, more green time
It has been shown that children who spend 80-90 minutes of (sun smart) time outdoors in natural light over the course of the day had a reduced risk for myopia progression(3). This means something as simple as less screen time and more time playing outdoors can be highly beneficial for your child’s eyes, especially in pre-myopia.
Contact lenses and Orthokeratology.
There are a couple of options with contact lenses in myopia management. Special soft contact lenses include the same defocus technology as the DIMS glasses lenses. Orthokeratology is when your Optometrist fits special hard contact lenses that are worn overnight while you sleep. They temporarily reshape your cornea so that you can see clearly during the day without the need to wear any correction.
Atropine eye drops
These special eye drops prescribed by your Optometrist work by affecting your ability to focus your eyes. One disadvantage of this option is that the drops also dilate the pupil which can cause glare and sensitivity to light. Low dose atropine eye drops may be used alone, or sometimes in combination with other forms of treatment to increase their effectiveness.
References:1. Holden B; Fricke T; Wilson D; Jong M; Naldo K; Sandaridurg P; Wong T; Naduvilath T; Resnikoff S. Global prevalence of myopia and high myopia and temporal trends from 2000 through 2050. American Academy of Ophthalmology 2016 2. The impact of myopia and high myopia: Report of the Joint World Health Organisation – Brian Holden Vision Institute Global Scientific Meeting on Myopia. University of NSW, Sydney, Australia. 16-18 March 20153. He M, Xiang F, Zheng y et al. Effect of time spent outdoors at school on the development of myopia among children in China: A randomised clinical trial. JAMA 2015; 314:1142-11484. Prize list of the 46th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva – 2018. Http://www.inventions-geneva.ch/images/2019_prize_LIST_English.pdf