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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 choice for each individual and modify it based on their response to treatment.

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

Myopia development and progression are multifactorial; therefore, it is vital to assess all contributory factors.

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

People with moderate and high myopia are at increased risk of developing serious sight threatening eye diseases such as:


-Retinal Detachment

-Retinal Tear

-Retinal Hole

-Choroidal Neovascularization which is a common cause of Macular Degeneration


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 eyeballs 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, Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and Ontario, the best possible opportunity to maintain good eyesight and eye health.

Myopia Control May Include:

  • Orthokeratology (“ortho-k”) or Corneal Refractive Therapy
  • Dual Focus Contact Lenses
  • Multifocal Contact Lenses
  • Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments (DIMS) 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.

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Dr. Heshmati Answers Your Questions

What is Myopia? What is the progression?

Myopia (nearsightedness) is a vision condition that you can see close objects clear but distant objects blurry. Myopia is very often progressive, and distance vision worsens over time. Meaning the child constantly needs an updated, stronger prescription and new glasses or contact lenses.

What age does myopia 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 starting at an early age, it rapidly progresses until the age of 18. New studies suggest that it continues throughout the college years, too, but at 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's expected population) will be myope (nearsighted) by the year 2050, and approximately one billion will be high myope. People with high myopia are at much higher risk of developing severe sight-threatening eye diseases, such as Retinal Detachment, Glaucoma, Early Cataract and Myopic Macular Degeneration, later in life.
The risk of developing myopic-related eye diseases becomes more significant as myopia increases. For example, the risk of Myopic Macular Degeneration for someone with -7.00 diopter is 50 times more than someone who is not myopic; The bet will be 200 times for someone with -9.00 diopter of myopia. That's why early detection is vital to reduce the progression of myopia. Any single diopter reduction in the progression of myopia is a big step in reducing the risks of myopic eye disease later in life.

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

Because there is a limited window of time to treat the progression of myopia effectively, early intervention is vital. All kids should have a regular annual eye examination and be monitored for developing myopia. For example, those at higher risk, having two myopic parents, should start the treatment as soon as possible, even before becoming myopic, to delay myopia. We recommend myopia control in children and young adults when there is progression regardless of age or other risk factors. The younger the child, the greater the progression. Therefore the earlier the myopia control starts, the better.

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

OrthoKeratology (Ortho K), also known as Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT), is a specially designed Gas Permeable Contact Lens worn overnight. While asleep, the lenses gently reshape the front surface of the eye called the cornea. When removed the lens in the morning, one will see clearly during the day without using eyeglasses or contact lenses. Regular eyeglasses and contact lenses correct the central myopic defocus and creates peripheral hyperopic defocus. Ortho K lenses control the Peripheral hyperopic defocus, which 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.

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

The risk of myopia development and progression is significantly associated with reading at very close distances (<20cm) and for continuous periods (>45 min), rather than being related to the total time spent on all near activities.
New studies have shown kids who spend more time in outdoor activities (at least 2hours per day) become myopic later, and 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 every 20 minutes during close work activities, and increasing outdoor activities help reduce myopia's progression.


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

While in some cases, 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 newborn baby who was born with a congenital cataract. After the operation and removal of the cataract, she needed a specialty contact lens to correct her vision for her eyes and vision to develop normally and prevent amblyopia (lazy eye) and other eye and vision problems.

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 indoors and doing close works than outdoor activities is the leading cause of myopia. Genetic and ethnicity are also known to play a significant role in developing myopia. Any child has a 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% chance that their children become myopic. Luckily with myopia control and reducing the progression of myopia, the risks decrease. Any single diopter that we reduce the progression of myopia is a big step in a child's well-being in their life.

Pediatric Eye Exam in North York, Toronto, Ontario


Asian Girl Reading BookRegular 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.

Vision Therapy for Children

Asian Girl Reading Book 1280x480Many children have vision problems other than simple refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. These "other" vision problems include amblyopia ("lazy eye"), eye alignment or eye teaming problems, focusing problems, and visual perceptual disorders. Left untreated, these non-refractive vision problems can cause eyestrain, fatigue, headaches, and learning problems.

What Is Vision Therapy?

Vision therapy is a doctor-supervised, non-surgical and customized program of visual activities designed to correct certain vision problems and/or improve visual skills.

Unlike eyeglasses and contact lenses, which simply compensate for vision problems, or eye surgery that alters the anatomy of the eye or surrounding muscles, vision therapy aims to "teach" the visual system to correct itself.

Vision therapy is like physical therapy for the visual system, including the eyes and the parts of the brain that control vision.

Vision therapy can include the use of lenses, prisms, filters, computerized visual activities and non-computerized viewing instruments. Non-medical "tools," such as balance boards, metronomes and other devices can also play an important role in a customized vision therapy program.

It is important to note that vision therapy is not defined by a simple list of tools and techniques. Successful vision therapy outcomes are achieved through a therapeutic process that depends on the active engagement of the prescribing doctor, the vision therapist, the patient and (in the case of children) their parents.

Overall, the goal of vision therapy is to treat vision problems that cannot be treated successfully with eyeglasses, contact lenses and/or surgery alone, and help people achieve clear, comfortable binocular vision.

Many studies have shown that vision therapy can correct vision problems that interfere with efficient reading among schoolchildren. It also can help reduce eye strain and other symptoms of computer vision syndrome experienced by many children and adults. See below for more on conditions treated with vision therapy.

Problems Vision Therapy Can Correct

Vision problems being treated with vision therapy include:

    • Amblyopia. Also called "lazy eye," amblyopia is a vision development problem where an eye fails to attain normal visual acuity, usually due to strabismus or other problems of eye teaming.

View Video

  • Strabismus. The success of vision therapy for strabismus depends on the direction, magnitude and frequency of the eye turn. VT has been proven effective for treating an intermittent form of strabismus called convergence insufficiency, which is an inability to keep the eyes properly aligned when reading despite good eye alignment when looking at distant objects.

View Video

  • Other binocular vision problems. Subtle eye alignment problems called phorias that may not produce a visible eye turn but still can cause eye strain and eye fatigue when reading also can be minimized or corrected with vision therapy.
  • Eye movement disorders. Studies have shown vision therapy can improve the accuracy of eye movements used during reading and other close-up work.
  • Accommodative (focusing) disorders. Other research shows near-far focusing skills can be improved with vision training.
  • Other problems. Other vision problems for which vision therapy may be effective include visual-perceptual disorders, vision problems associated with developmental disabilities and vision problems associated with acquired brain injury (such as from a stroke).

Vision Therapy and Learning Disabilities

The relationship between vision problems and learning disabilities is a hotly debated topic and one about which optometrists and ophthalmologists often have different opinions.

Many optometrists support the use of vision therapy as part of a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of certain types of learning disabilities. They contend that, in many cases, children with learning disabilities also have underlying vision problems that may be contributing in some degree to their learning problems. It's possible, they say, that these learning-related vision problems may be successfully treated with optometric vision therapy, which may improve the child's overall capacity for learning.

Many ophthalmologists, on the other hand, feel vision therapy is ineffective in treating any type of learning problem and say there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that the correction of vision problems reduces the severity of learning disabilities.

The First Steps

If you think your child has a vision problem that may be affecting his or her performance in school or sports, the first step is to schedule a routine eye exam to rule out nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism.

If the basic eye exam suggests that no glasses are needed (or there is no change in your child's current eyeglasses prescription) and each eye has 20/20 visual acuity, be aware that a vision problem still may exist. The eye chart used in routine eye exams tests only a person's distance vision and does not test all critical aspects of visual performance.

For a thorough analysis of your child's vision, including tests that evaluate vision skills needed for efficient reading, consider scheduling a comprehensive eye exam with an optometrist who specializes in binocular vision, vision therapy and/or vision development.

Examinations used to diagnose non-refractive vision problems differ from routine eye exams provided by most optometrists and ophthalmologists. Usually they are longer and include a number of tests of eye teaming, depth perception, focusing, eye movements and visual-motor and/or visual-perceptual skills.

At the end of the exam, the doctor should give you a detailed assessment of your child's vision and visual skills. If vision problems are identified and a program of vision therapy is recommended, be sure to get information about the likely duration of the therapy and success rates for the specific type of vision therapy being recommended. Also, ask what criteria are used to define "successful" treatment.

Finally, request details about the expected cost of the therapy program, and whether any of the costs will be covered by your health insurance or vision insurance policy. In many cases, vision therapy is not a covered benefit in insurance programs.


Dr. Javad Heshmati, Optometrist

Dr. Heshmati is a Doctor of Optometry. He is certified in controlled substances, diagnostic, topical and oral therapeutics to medically treat eye diseases. Dr. Heshmati received his optometry degree in 1991 from Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences. After moving to Ontario in 1997, he continued studying Optometry and Ophthalmic Dispensing, and he received his certificates in ophthalmic dispensing in 1999. He received his certification to practice optometry and became a member of the College of Optometrists of Ontario in 2004. He then started his practice as an Eye Doctor in Ontario. Dr. Heshmati established the Empress Eye Clinic in 2007 to provide the highest quality eye care to his patients. Dr. Heshmati backed his academic knowledge with extensive Optometry experience in ocular health, geriatric, pediatric, myopia management, primary care optometry, dry eye and contact lenses. He co-manages cataract, corneal cross-linking and laser refractive surgery with top ophthalmic surgeons in Toronto. Dr. Heshmati also prescribes and fits a wide range of advanced and specialty soft and gas permeable contact lenses (Toric for astigmatism, multi-focal for presbyopia, scleral for keratoconus and dry eye, therapeutic, bandage and prosthetic contact lenses for damaged cornea, and Orthokeratology (Ortho K)also known as Corneal Reshaping for adults and myopia control in kids. Throughout more than 25 years of practice, Dr. Heshmati has demonstrated excellence in clinical practice by dedicating himself to the highest level of patient care. He continually strives to learn the latest knowledge and treatment techniques to incorporate them into his routine practice. Dr. Heshmati strongly believes in preventative eye care. He incorporates advanced technologies and techniques in his practice that enabling him to diagnose, prevent, and treat eye diseases in their early stages to prevent vision loss. Providing the most thorough eye care available and educating and helping patients understand all aspects of their vision and eye health, Dr. Heshmati prides himself that his patients are the primary referral source to his practice.

Laser Refractive Surgery

Do you consider LASIK or other type of refractive surgery to correct your vision? If so make an appointment for pre operative assessment. LASIK and other refractive correction procedures have become more advanced and sophisticated over years. Proper pre operative consultation is very important to make an inform decision before proceeding to the surgery. Several alternative refractive procedures are available, it is therefore essential that the optimal procedure is chosen for each individual patient. Since not all LASIK centres are able to provide all wide range of procedures,  In this context, Dr. Heshmati has teamed up with top laser refractive surgeons in Toronto to offer a full range of refractive surgical corrective options to our patients.

In line with Dr. Heshmati‘s approach to offering an all encompassing range of eye care services we have incorporated refractive surgery in our clinical services. The benefits to our patients is that we are in a position to give unbiased, individualized advice as to the benefits and risks of all modalities of correction based upon the detailed clinical information we have collected during their eye examination.

Custom Bladeless LASIK is performed Using the most advanced LASIK technology available in North America. 

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More About LASIK and Ocular Surgery

woman being examined at our scarborough eye care clinicLASIK and other types of refractive surgery are now an alternative methodof vision correction to spectacles and contact lenses. In line with Dr. Heshmati‘s approach to offering an all-encompassing range of eye care services, we have incorporated refractive surgery in our clinical services. The benefits to our patients are that we are in a position to give unbiased, individualized advice as to the benefits and risks of all modalities of correction based upon the detailed clinical information we have collected during their eye examination.

Custom Bladeless LASIK is performed Using the most advanced LASIK technology available in North America.

SMILE—Small Incision Lenticule Extraction—is the latest innovation in laser vision correction. SMILE eye surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that does not require a corneal flap. It has successfully been performed on over 1 million patients worldwide.

Contoura™ Vision is a topography-guided LASIK treatment designed to provide a more personalized laser procedure for patients with nearsightedness, or nearsightedness with astigmatism, based on the unique corneal topography of each eye. Contoura™ Vision precisely measures up to 22,000 unique elevation points on each of a patient’s eyes.

We will evaluate your eyes and discuss your visual goals to help determine if you are an appropriate candidate for LASIK, PRK or Refractive Lens Exchange. If you have appropriate goals and there are no contraindications for the procedure, we will recommend a pre-operative evaluation to determine suitability for refractive surgery. This evaluation includes:

  • Counseling on refractive surgery options
  • Eye dominancy testing
  • Review of eye history and refractive stability
  • Medical evaluation of the cornea and the eye
  • Current Refraction Status
  • Topography of the cornea
  • Dilated Fondus Examination
  • Pachymetry to check the thickness of the cornea
  • Anterior OCT(Optical Coherence Tomography) test to assess the corneal integrity, thickness and map
  • Posterior OCT test to assess the health of the retina
  • Retinal Imaging test

If after the pre-operative evaluation, the decision is made to proceed with surgery, your information will be forwarded to the surgeon, a pre-surgery consult with your surgeon will be scheduled. Post-operative management will be provided by our doctors at Empress Eye Clinic and includes multiple visits over a period from the date of surgery to include medical evaluation and management of the vision and corneal healing . Evaluation of any additional needs such as reading glasses, sunglasses, or enhancement laser procedures is also included.

LASIK is currently the most popular vision-correcting or "refractive" surgery available. But there are other options as well. We will help you find the ideal solution for your problem and partner with the best surgeon to perform your procedure.

Introduction to LASIK

LASIK is the most commonly performed refractive surgery procedure. You may hear people calling it "LASIX," but the correct name is LASIK, which is short for "laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis."

Why is it so popular? LASIK has advantages over other vision correction procedures, including a relative lack of pain afterward and the fact that good vision usually is achieved by the very next day.

An instrument called a microkeratome is used in LASIK eye surgery to create a thin, circular flap in the cornea. Another, newer way of making the flap is with a laser.

The surgeon folds the hinged flap back out of the way, then removes some corneal tissue underneath using an excimer laser. The excimer laser uses a cool ultraviolet light beam to precisely remove ("ablate") very tiny bits of tissue from the cornea to reshape it.

When the cornea is reshaped in the right way, it works better to focus light into the eye and onto the retina, providing clearer vision than before. The flap is then laid back in place, covering the area where the corneal tissue was removed.

Both nearsighted and farsighted people can benefit from the LASIK procedure. With nearsighted people, the goal is to flatten the too-steep cornea; with farsighted people, a steeper cornea is desired. Excimer lasers also can correct astigmatism by smoothing an irregular cornea into a more normal shape.

Learn more about Vision Surgery including LASIK, PRK, Corneal Transplants and more.

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OHIP Exams Update

As of November 23, 2021, Ontario Government agreed with a formal negotiation and Ontario optometrists agreed to resume service for OHIP insured patients during the negotiations. We do our best to accommodate as many patients we could. We started booking from our long waiting list that has been built up since September. We continue adding patients to our list and try to see as many patients as possible without compromising our high quality eye care services.

If you wish to be added to our waiting list please kindly use our online appointment request form. We really appreciate your patience, understanding and support! In the meantime please visit and let the government know you care about your eye care and this is the government’s responsibility to pay for your eye care, not your optometrist.