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Myopia, or nearsightedness, is an eye condition that makes distance objects blurry, while near objects remain clear. Myopia is easily correctable by spectacles and contact lenses, and most people can get by quite easily with these options.
Myopia becomes an eye health problem though if it starts to increase at a rapid rate. This is common at a younger age and tends to affect some children from early childhood through to their teenage years. High levels of myopia are associated with sight-threatening conditions that manifest later in life. This is why it is important to reduce the rate of progression of myopia.
Myopia control is a term for a range of treatment options that have been scientifically proven to reduce the rate of progression of myopia. Some of the options are:
Specially designed spectacle lenses.
Specially designed soft contact lenses.
Specially formulated eye drops.
All these options have safely been used for children with myopia. The treatment option that is recommended depends on individual factors and is best discussed with your optometrist.
If your child is already myopic it is important to assess how rapidly their myopia is progressing to determine if myopia control needs to be implemented.
If your child is not myopic, they may still be at risk of developing myopia. It is important for all children to have their eyes tested as there are certain things that can be done to prevent the onset of myopia. Regular testing also ensures that myopia is picked up early which means that myopia control can be initiated earlier.
Axial length measurement, which literally measures the length of the eye, is a good way to monitor for myopia and myopia progression. At NVISION Eyecare® we have advanced technology that allows us to take this measurement. Please click here for further information.
Myopia control is now accepted as standard practice for children with rapidly progressing myopia.
To learn more about your child’s myopia risk, you can use the tool on this website: https://mykidsvision.org.
Another useful tool is the Brien Holden Vision Institutes Myopia Calculator, which projects how high your child's myopia will get if left untreated. It also shows you how much reduction in myopia you can expect with the various treatment options. You can visit it here: https://calculator.brienholdenvision.org.