Short-sightedness (myopia) is occurring more and more often and at an increasingly younger age.The degree of myopia is also becoming increasingly extreme. Researchers are already talking of a myopia epidemic. Ordinary glasses or contact lenses won't help, because this does not counertract the risk of aggravation.1 An eye care specialist can offer a number of treatments that inhibit myopia progressoin: this is called myopia management. Starting myopia management early can considerably help prevent its progression.
Myopia in children
The fact that more and more children are unable to see as well in the distance is due in part to a lot of close viewing on screens.2 Once nearsighted, always nearsighted. So the sooner it is recognized and limited, the better. Fortunately, there are ways to inhibit nearsightedness and to take care of children's eyes.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Why is myopia management focused on children?Myopia management is focused on adolescents and children because the greatest exacerbation of myopia usually occurs between the ages of 6 and 17.(1) This is the most important age group for intervention in order to prevent or minimize eye health problems later in life. (1) Morgan P. Is Myopia Control the Next Contact Lens Revolution? The Optician 2016.
What is a Myopia Management Expert?The Myopia Management Expert does everything possible to manage progressive myopia (= nearsightedness). The Myopia Management Expert identifies a child’s risk of becoming nearsighted. Is a child already nearsighted? Then there are several myopia management therapies to choose from, such as lifestyle counseling, atropine eye drops (prescribed by the eye doctor) or special contact lenses. If this proves necessary, the Myopia Management Expert compiles a customized treatment plan – in consultation with other practitioners, if needed. This is to stop the exacerbation of myopia as much as possible.
What should I look for in lenses for my child?Children can wear lenses as young as 8 years old on average. (1) Before a child can start wearing lenses, the eye care specialist explains what it means to wear the lenses and the responsibilities involved for the child, such as in the area of hygiene. (1) Charm, J & Cho, P, 2013, High Myopia-Partial Reduction Ortho-k: A 2 year randomized study, Optometry and Vision Science, Vol 90, No 6 P530-539.
1 Wildsoet CF, Chia A, Cho P, et al. IMI – Interventions for Controlling Myopia Onset and Progression Report. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci.2019;60:M106–M131.
2 Rose KA, Morgan IG, Ip J, et al. Outdoor Activity Reduces the Prevalence of Myopia in Children. Ophtalmology 2008.