Myopia Control

Stop your child's short sightedness from getting worse

What is myopia (short-sightedness)

Myopia (short-sightedness) is a refractive vision condition where distance objects appear blurry but objects up close look clear due to light being focused in front of the retina (back of the eye). Myopia typically occurs as a result of the eyes growing too long and is commonly seen in children and young adults. Other causes of myopia include: genetics and environmental factors.
Presently, there is no cure for myopia but recent research has provided us with additional insight into myopia and there are options to slow down and even stop the progression of it (myopia control).

The latest theory of myopia control suggests that myopia progression occurs when light is focused on the peripheral (side) retina. It is believed that making the light out of focus on the peripheral retina can reduce myopia progression (termed myopic defocus). Speciality contact and spectacle lenses can achieve this.

Myopia Control Options- Orthokeratology

With orthokeratology (ortho-k) a specially designed contact lens is worn to correct and reshape your vision while you sleep! Upon waking the result is clear vision during the day without glasses or contact lenses.

As this process is completely reversible, your vision will go back to its original shape when lens wear is stopped. Learn more about orthokeratology here.

Myopia Control Options- Atropine/ Medicated Eyedrops

These are a very weak form of an eye drop that is usually used to dilate (enlarge) the pupil of the eye. The mechanism by which the drug reduces short-sightedness is unknown but again results have been encouraging.

Atropine is a prescription only medication. It can be prescribed by a therapeutically qualified optometrist or ophthalmologist. Currently only one pharmacy in Auckland is making preparations of these eyes drops at a concentration sufficiently weak for the use of preventing short-sightedness.

Myopia Control Options- MiSight Contact Lenses

The dual focus/ MiSight lens is the first lens to be approved by the US FDA for myopia control and were designed locally at the University of Auckland. They work in the same way as the glasses with a clear centre power and a reduced outside power. However this system works better in a contact lens as the lenses stay centred on the eye as the eye moves, meaning the powers always stay in optimum alignment. Again, preliminary studies have suggested reductions in the short-sightedness of around 30%.

Myopia Control Options- Variable Focus Glasses

Both the MiyoSmart from Hoya and MyoVision from Zeiss are available at Frith and Laird. The MiyoSmart lenses are the latest spectacle lenses for myopia control. These lenses can reduce myopia progression by 60% using Hoya's DIMS (defocus incorporated multiple segments) technology. Zeiss created the MyoVision lenses and were the first optical lenses using peripheral defocus designed to reduced myopia progression. The lenses look like your normal lenses but are specifically designed to allow clear vision through the centre of the lenses but the peripheral area creates myopic defocus. These lenses have shown to reduce the progression of myopia by up to 30% in certain groups.

Myopia Control Summary

Currently there is no cure for myopia but with the latest scientific research there are now multiple options available to help slow down and even potentially stop the progression of myopia.

All these options are available at Frith and Laird and our optometrists are constantly up to date with the latest research and will be happy to answer any questions.

Myopia Control Options- Lifestyle Changes/ Outdoor Play

Spend more time outside!

Living in a city is definitely bad for young eyes. Auckland’s not huge on a world scale but all of the factors of sedentary urban living still are at play. Studies show rates of childhood short-sightedness as low as 3% in non-urbanised cultures such as the Sherpas of Nepal and in Vanuatu but rates as high as 60% in highly urbanised countries such as Taiwan. The prevalence of myopia among Singaporean Indians has been reported as high as over 70% while remaining 10-20% among Indians living in India.