Myopia management or myopia control is the process where spectacles or contact lenses are used to stry to slow down the rate at which a childs prescription increases. Myopia can also onset and progress in early adulthood, but generally the greatest risk of someone developing high levels of myopia occurs when myopia onsets in early childhood, especially before age 10.
It’s important to note that there’s nothing currently available which can promise to STOP myopia progression. The current research and available options can work to SLOW DOWN myopia progression – by about a third to a half on average, depending on the option selected and your child’s individual factors.
When should myopia management start?
As soon as possible! The research evidence indicates that the earlier a child becomes myopic, the faster their blurred distance vision and glasses prescription will continue to worsen. If we are going to have the biggest impact on slowing myopia progression and reducing the final amount of myopia your child ends up with, we should act quickly.
How can I help my child?
Help is at hand in the form of specialist glasses and contact lenses.
Essilor Stellest is a new spectacle lens proven to reduce the progression of myopia in children when worn for 12 or more hours per day.Find out more about Stellest here.
Specialist contact lenses can also be used to reduce the progression of myopia in children and teenagers. Ortho K uses a rigid lens which the patient sleeps in to gently reshape the cornea. On waking the lens is removed and the patient enjoys clear stable vision throughout the day without the need for glasses or contact lenses. Ortho K is frequently used by adults to give clear vision without the need for spectacles or contact lenses but it can also be used for myopia control. Find out more about Ortho K here.
NaturalVue daily disposable contact lenses can be used for myopia control and are generally well received as they are comfortable and easy to insert and remove. Find out more about NaturalVue contact lenses here.
What else can I do?
Spend more time outdoors
Children should spend 90 minutes of every day outdoors and be physically active for 60 of them. Dont forget sunscreen, sunhat and sunglasses!
Reduce the amount of time they spend of screens.
Try to limit the leisure use of screens in school age children to two hours per day. Make sure they do not hold the screen too close and take regular breaks.