Myopia – Short Sightedness
What is Myopia
If you find that your distance vision is blurred, then you may be one of the millions of people with myopia, or short-sightedness.
Myopia is an optical imperfection of the eye.
If you have perfect sight, then, as light enters the eye, it is carefully focused by various components of the eye to form a focus on the retina.
Myopia occurs because the eye is too long or when the cornea is too steep. Either way, light is focused in front of the retina. This means that distant objects become blurred. The greater the short-sightedness, the greater the blur in the distance. Most short-sighted people see well at close distances.
Treatment involves refocusing light back onto the retina. There are several options. The most common ones are spectacles and contact lenses.
Myopia prevalence is 40% in Europe and North America. However, it is significantly higher in Asia, where prevalence is reported to be as much as 90%.
Childhood myopia usually develops between the age of 6 and 16.
Early detection of myopia is important as poor distance vision can affect a child’s education and development.
Although spectacles and regular contact lenses improve vision, they do not slow down the progression of myopia. As a result, frequent prescription changes are required to maintain clear vision.
Research has identified a possible cause for the progression of myopia. The peripheral hyperopia theory relates the focus of the peripheral image to eye growth and therefore, to myopia progression.
Myopia control therapy uses special contact lenses to alter peripheral light focus to reduce myopia progression. These contact lenses have been shown to achieve up to 50% reduction in myopia progression, compared to spectacles. It is generally best to start therapy during early myopia, until the age of 16.
Ask your practitioner about myopia control therapy, if your child has myopia.