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Home » Myopia Control For Children

Myopia Control For Children

Asian Girl Reading Book If your child has myopia( nearsightedness) and their vision prescription continually increases at each eye exam, Myopia Control should be considered.

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

At Empress Eye Clinic we provide myopia control for children, as part of our preventative eye care service.

Myopia is one of the leading causes of eye disease that continues to progress. Myopia progression can be controlled to reduce the risk of ocular diseases.

Dr. Heshmati Answers Your Questions

What is Myopia? What is the progression?

Myopia or nearsightedness is an eye condition that distance objects are not clear while the near objects appear clearer. When starts in early age Myopia usually progresses rapidly.

 

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

It can start at any age but usually around the school age. Unfortunately when starts in early age it rapidly progresses until the age of 17, new studies suggest that it may continue throughout the college years too but with a slower rate. 

Why is the progression of Myopia a health concern?

It is predicted that about 50% of the world population will be Myopic by year 2050 and about one billion will be high myopic. People with high myopia are at much higher risk of devloping serious sight threatening eye disease , such as Retinal Detachment, Glaucoma, Catract, Myopic Macular Degeneration, later in life.

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

All kids must have regular annual eye exam and any kids with Myopia of - 0.25 must have monitored for progression.

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

OrthoKeratology, also known as corneal reshaping, is the fitting of specially designed Gas Permeable Contact Lens that it 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. Regular eyeglasses correct the central myopic defocus, and creates peripheral hyperopic defocus  Ortho K lenses, controls the Peripheral hyperopic defocus which is the cause of elongation of the eyeball and therefore progression of myopia. 

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. 

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

New studies have shown kids that spend more time out door activities become myopic later. 

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

It is true. Our lifestyle in which kids spend more time doing close work than outdoor activity known as the main cause of Myopia, Genetic and ethnicity are also known to play a significant role in developing myopia. 

Pediatric Eye Exam in Toronto, Ontario

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.

Myopia Control May Include:

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

Visit Our Eye Care Experts in  North York To Slow or Stop Myopia Control

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 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.

  • Myopia, always common in children, is an increasing problem. The number of kids who are nearsighted has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. The reason for this remains blurry, yet one possible culprit is the increased amount of time kids spend indoors gazing at digital screens, with limited exposure to natural light.