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:
-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.
Dr. Heshmati Answers Your Questions
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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 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 Parent
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.