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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 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)

Orthokeratology for Kids Suffering from Myopia

Myopia Control for Children

Child Grinning ThinkingBefore we discuss the use of orthokeratology in kids’ eye care, let’s explain the basics of what it is and how it works. Typically called ortho-k, this cutting-edge treatment is an effective way for people with myopia (nearsightedness) to achieve clear vision without wearing contact lenses or eyeglasses during the daytime hours. Even after years of needing vision correction, ortho-k will allow you to leave your eyeglasses and contacts at home when you head out for the day. And this is all accomplished without a need for surgery.

Our eye doctor is experienced and skilled in fitting adults and children with ortho-k lenses. Many patients, young and older, have benefitted from the advantages of sharp vision after being fitted with orthokeratology in our office.

Clear Vision – Without Eyewear

Also called vision shaping, ortho-k involves wearing specialized hard, gas permeable lenses while you sleep. These lenses gently mold your cornea into a new shape, thereby resolving any refractive error and correcting myopia. When you wake up in the morning, you’ll be able to remove the lenses and enjoy crystal-clear eyesight. The effects generally last one to two days, so the ortho-k lenses must be inserted nightly on a regular basis.

Benefits of Ortho-k for Kids

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. Many parents are alarmed by their child’s need for a new vision prescription yearly, and parents and kids are disturbed by the increasing thickness of their eyeglass lenses.

Ortho-k offers an efficient way to slow, or possibly stop, the continued progression of nearsightedness in kids. In case you’re wondering why surgery isn’t a better option, keep in mind that laser procedures, such as LASIK, are not suitable for young children. As studies have demonstrated that orthokeratology is safe for all ages, it is currently regarded as the ideal option for myopia control in kids.

Additionally, ortho-k for kids also grants freedom to children who don’t want to be bothered by inconvenient eyewear. Frames are always falling off or being left behind, and replacement eyeglasses or repairs can run very high fees for parents. Ortho-k lenses are only worn in bed, so there’s virtually no risk of kids losing or damaging them. Regular contact lenses are often a poor choice for kids who spend a lot of their days in dusty, dirty playfields, and/or who are not able to commit to sterilizing contacts regularly.

Which kids are good candidates for ortho-k?

Any nearsighted child with healthy eyes is a possible candidate for orthokeratology. Regular eye exams with visual acuity testing are a necessary part of proper kids’ eye care. If your child has myopia and their vision prescription continually increases at each eye exam, ortho-k may be a good option. Your child’s vision and ocular condition will be evaluated to determine candidacy.  Please contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss orthokeratology and other options for Myopia Control.

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 from the Canadian Examiners in 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 control, primary care optometry, and contact lens. 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 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, enabling him to diagnose, prevent, and treat eye diseases in the 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.