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Home » Myopia Control Center For Children

Myopia Control Center For Children

Empress Eye Clinic offers all clinically-effective myopia control treatment options available in Canada, therefore our unbiased treatment plan is aimed to provide the best possible option for each individual based on their response to treatment.

Myopia (nearsightedness) is affecting more and more children around the world — it has been recognized by the World Health Organization as a looming public health problem

Myopia development and progression is multifactorial, therefore it is important to assess all contributory factors.

It is important to treat the cause of myopia, not just the symptoms.

Since there is a limited window of time to provide successful myopia control, it is critical to provide the treatment as soon as possible to treat the cause of myopia (nearsightedness) in children to prevent elongation of their eye balls and prevent serious myopic related eye diseases later in their lives.

Myopia control treatment aimed to reduces the progression of nearsightedness in children and the risk of serious myopic related eye diseases later in their lives.

Our goal is to give every child and young adult with myopia in North York and Greater Toronto Area (GTA) the best possible opportunity to maintain both good eyesight and eye health.

Myopia Control May Include:

  • Orthokeratology (“ortho-k”) or Corneal Refractive Therapy
  • Dual Focus Contact Lenses
  • Multifocal Contact Lenses
  • Bifocal Eyeglasses
  • Multifocal Eyeglasses
  • Atropine Drops
  • Other pharmaceutical agents such as 7-methylxanthine

If your child has myopia( nearsightedness), has difficulty seeing distance object without eyeglasses or contact lenses, Myopia Control should be considered to reduce the progression of myopia and also the risks of developing sight threatening myopic related eye diseases later in life.

Myopia Control reduces the risk of Myopic-related Eye Disease, it starts with an eye exam in our eye clinic in North York,Toronto.

At Empress Eye Clinic's Myopia Control Center, we provide myopia control for children, and young adults as part of our preventative eye care service.

Myopia is one of the leading causes of eye diseases that continues to progress. Myopia progression can be controlled to reduce the risk of some serious sight threatening ocular diseases later in life.

Dr. Heshmati Answers Your Questions

What is Myopia? What is the progression?

Myopia (nearsightedness or shortsightedness), is an eye condition that distance objects are not clear while the near objects appear clearer.  Myopia is very often progressive. This means that the distance vision gets worse and worse, meaning the child constantly needs an updated stronger prescription and new glasses or contact lenses.

What age does it begin and when does it stop progressing?

It can start at any age but usually around the school age although we have few kids younger than 5. Unfortunately when starts in early age it rapidly progresses until the age of 17, new studies suggest that it continues throughout the college years too but with a slower rate. 

Why is the progression of Myopia a health concern?

According to World Health Organization (WHO) about 5,000,000,000 people(50 % of the world expected population) will be Myope(nearsighted) by year 2050 and approximately one billion will be high myope. People with high myopia are at much higher risk of developing serious sight threatening eye disease , such as Retinal Detachment, Glaucoma, Early Cataract and Myopic Macular Degeneration, later in life.

The risk of developing myopic related eye diseases become more significant as myopia increases. for example the risk of Myopic Macular Degeneration for some one with -7.00 diopter, is 50 times more that someone who is not myopic; The risk will be 200 times for someone with -9.00 diopter of myopia. That's why early detection is very important to reduce the progression of myopia. Any single diopter reduction in progression of Myopia is a big step in reducing the risks.

At what age should you start controlling the progression of Myopia?

All kids should have regular annual eye exam and be monitored for developing myopia. Those at higher risk, like having 2 myopic parents should start the treatment as soon as possible, even before becoming myopic to delay the myopia. Myopia control in children and young adults, is recommended when there is progression regardless of the age or other risk factors. The younger the age the greater the progression, therefore the earlier the myopia control starts the better. There is a limited window of time to effectively treat the progression of myopia. 

What is Ortho K/Contact Lenses and how does it control Myopia?

OrthoKeratology (Ortho K), also known as Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT), is the fitting of specially designed Gas Permeable Contact Lens that is worn overnight, while asleep, the lenses gently reshape the front surface of the eye called cornea. When removed the lens in the morning one will be able to see clearly during the day without using eyeglasses or contact lenses. Regular eyeglasses correct the central myopic defocus, and creates peripheral hyperopic defocus.  Ortho K lenses, controls the Peripheral hyperopic defocus which in most cases is the cause of elongation of the eyeball and therefore progression of myopia. 

We also fit Ortho K, for adults with mild to moderated myopia, as a safer and reversible alternative for LASIK. 

My child is too young for Contact lenses, should they wait to begin myopia control?

While in some cases the contact lenses are the best options for myopia control, other options such as pharmaceutical agents and special eyeglasses can be considered when the child  or parents are not ready for contact lenses. When we fit contact lenses, we spend time to ensure we teach our patients how to use and handle them safely. When fitting contact lenses for young children, we teach their parents too. My youngest contact lens patient was a new born baby who was born with congenital cataract. After the operation and removal of cataract, she needed specialty contact lens to correct her vision, in order for her eyes and vision to develop normally and to prevent lazy eye and other eye and vision problems. 

What lifestyle changes can be made to lower the progression of Myopia?

New studies have shown kids that spend more time in outdoor activities (at least 2hours per day) become myopic later. For those that already are myope, the rate of progression is lower. Receiving myopia control treatment and being monitored by your optometrist regularly, reducing unnecessary close works, taking breaks during close work activities, and increasing outdoor activities help to reduce the progression of myopia. 

I have heard that Myopia is being called an epidemic. Do you think so? And if so why is the prevalence increasing so dramatically?

Unfortunately It is true. Our lifestyle in which kids spend more time indoor and doing close works than outdoor activities known as the main cause of Myopia. Genetic and ethnicity are also known to play a significant role in developing myopia. Any child has 25% chance of becoming myopic, if one parent is myopic the chance will increase to 40% and if both parents are myopic there is a 75% that their children become myopic. luckily with myopia control and reducing the progression of myopia, the risks reduces. Any single diopter that we reduce the progression on myopia is a big step in the well bing of a child in their life.

Pediatric Eye Exam in North York, Toronto, Ontario


Asian Girl Reading Book

Regular comprehensive eye exams for your child at all stages of their development is extremely important to ensure a child's vision will develop as it should and to diagnose any eye conditions that may be affecting your child. There are many eye conditions, such as strabismus and amblyopia that can be corrected easily if caught early but can do irreversible damage that will affect a child into adulthood if left undiagnosed and untreated for too long. However, one of the leading causes of ocular disease in adults that continues to progress, is myopia or nearsightedness.

Visit Our Eye Care Experts in  North York,

Toronto To Slow the progression of Myopia

Blue Eyes Shy Girl

While nearsightedness or myopia for many has been corrected through glasses or contact lenses, a modern concept has developed called Myopia Control. Myopia control is oriented to slow down or stop the progression of myopia since over the past few decades myopia has increased at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, the percentage of moderate to high myopia has grown in number and myopia control is becoming a major consideration for parents & their child’s eye health.

Definition of  Myopia and High Myopia:
  • Myopia: -0.50 D or more at least in one eye
  • High Myopia: -5.00 D or more
  • Pathologic Myopia: High Myopia with myopia- related fundus abnormalities such as  Myopic Macular Degeneration(MMD) and Glaucoma.

Myopia Control Reduces The Risk of Myopic - Related Ocular Disease

  • Cataracts:
    The rate of progression of myopia has been linked to the development of cataracts. The higher the level of myopia in a child, the faster the rate cataracts can develop when they get older.
  • Glaucoma:
    Glaucoma is when the eye develops an unusually high pressure, where this pressure can damage the optic nerve and cause vision loss. Studies have shown that myopic (nearsighted) people have a 2-3x greater risk ao Glaucoma.
  • Detached Retina:
    Levels of myopia also have a correlation to detached retinas. A detached retina is when the retina pulls away from the eyes tissue, often resulting in permanent vision loss.
  • Myopic Macular Degeneration (MMD): 
  • Myopic Macular Degeneration(MMP) is the most common vision impairment in patients with myopia, as 10% of people with pathologic myopia develop MMD (due to choroidal neovascularization), which is bilateral in 30% of cases.

Myopia Control Starts with You - The Parentboy with learning problems

Your child’s eyes are his/her gateway into the world of learning. When your child’s vision is not functioning properly, learning and participation in recreational activities will suffer. Children are not likely to recognize vision problems like myopia, and it is, therefore, the responsibility of parents and teachers to recognize signs of visual problems in their children.

Children's Eyesight May Change, Less Often With Myopia Control

Because changes in your child’s vision can occur without you or your child noticing them, your child should visit the eye doctor every year or more frequently if specific problems or risk factors exist. Myopia control attempts to reduce the number of changes that may occur in your child’s vision. With a successful myopia control program, an eye doctor in North York , Toronto can provide your child with amazing vision, track your child’s rate of myopia, and provide a clear road to healthy eyesight and a successful future.

Orthokeratology also known as Corneal Reshaping Treatment(CRT)