Myopia is the clinical term for shortsightedness, it means that people see distant objects as blurry. 1 in 3 people in the UK  are affected by myopia and it is estimated that half the world’s population will be myopic by 2050.
Myopia can develop at any age, but is most concerning when it starts in young children. This is because the eye grows throughout childhood which can lead to rapidly progressing myopia. The earlier myopia starts, the higher the myopia can potentially become which increases risk to eye health. “0.00”, or “Plano” on your prescription means there is no adjustment needed by use of lenses to improve your vision. Myopia is always measured in negative numbers, measured in -0.25 increments and below. All myopic prescriptions are worth managing in children, your Optometrist will advise you on the best care for the different ranges of shortsightedness:
In contrast, hyperopia or ‘longsightedness’ (the opposite of myopia) is always a positive integer, ranging from +0.25, upwards. People with hyperopia see objects closest to them as blurry and unlike myopic patients, will be able to see distant objects with more clarity.
In yourself, you may notice that distant objects appear blurry. This could be a street sign while driving or squinting to watch the TV. Our Qualified Dispensing Opticians are on hand to advise which glasses can help correct your vision for these different scenarios.
Anyone can begin to form myopia and because kids don’t often realise that their eyesight isn’t “normal”, there are few key things for us grown-ups to look out for. In babies, toddlers and children, you may notice that they regularly rub their eyes, sit too close to the TV, struggle to see the whiteboard at school and complain of headaches and/or eye strain.
In some cases, there are no symptoms at all and that’s why regular check ups at your local optician are so important. We encourage parents to bring children in for eye examinations from a young age. Ideally, children should have their first eye test no later than age 3 or 4.
Myopia tends to progress while we grow, so for the majority of myopic children, the changes in prescription naturally slows down in our late teens to early twenties. Myopia management needs to be considered part of the plan for this time period.
Adults do not develop myopia in quite the same way as children, so myopia management is not needed for adults.
If you are concerned about your own or your child’s eyesight, we recommend you visit us for an eye examination as soon as possible. Ultra-wide field and 3D Retinal Photography comes as standard as part of the Leightons Ultimate Eye Examination, where we take a digital image of the back of the eye and are able to offer you the best possible advice for your care.
Myopia can be a result of family history and lifestyle, or a combination of both. It usually begins in childhood and is more common in children who have a myopic parent, although sometimes there is no family history. Other influencing factors are the environment and spending increased amounts of time doing near tasks, including using smartphones, tablets and computers.
There is increasing evidence to suggest that extended periods of time doing high concentration, close vision tasks, including the use of smartphones, tablets and computers, can increase myopic symptoms .
Ensuring your children regularly spend time playing outside and using computer screens safely may help to reduce their risk of becoming shortsighted. This can include the 20 20 20 rule (looking away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes at something 20 feet away from you) and making sure there is always adequate lighting, especially when doing high concentration tasks and close work such as reading and writing.
The onset of myopia at an early age, guarantees a need for lifelong eyecare. Rising levels of myopia are connected with a number of serious eye problems and not just the need for glasses throughout life.
Unfortunately, myopia can also lead to eye conditions and complications:
At Leightons, we recommend an examination which includes retinal imaging for adults and children alike, allowing your optometrist to see a detailed picture of the back of your eye and check for early signs of conditions like glaucoma, retinal detachments and tears.
Although there is currently no cure for myopia, regular eye tests monitor your vision and overall health and, based on the results, allow us to make recommendations for the best eyecare for you and your family. Our team has extensive experience in myopia management and can advise whether your child is suitable to be treated. Every child is different and each treatment is tailored to suit both the child and the type of correction that needs to be managed.
There are a number of products available to manage myopia. We have included a few options, below, for you to explore. Your local eyecare team will advise on the best products for your child.
There are a number of different soft contact lens options for myopia management. One of the most frequently recommended is MiSight® by Coopervision. These contact lenses are soft daily disposable lenses that are specially designed to reduce the progression of myopia (or shortsightedness) in children. Lenses are worn through the day as a standard one day soft lens, for a minimum of six days a week.
Studies have suggested that the MiSight® one day disposable lens has been proven to slow down myopia by up to 59% . This means that if fitted early enough with this lens, most children will end up with less than half the strength of myopia than if fitted with a conventional contact lens or spectacles.
Soft contact lenses including MiSight® for myopia management are available in all Leightons Opticians & Hearing Care practices.
Corrective contact lenses and orthokeratology isn’t the only way to go! At Leightons, we are proud to offer the brand new MiYOSMART lenses from HOYA. New to the UK, this ground-breaking technology works to help children manage and slow the progression of myopia.
MiYOSMART is an innovative spectacle lens for myopia management. Based on a two-year clinical trial result, MiYOSMART is proven to curb myopia progression in children on average by 60%  with its award-winning D.I.M.S. (Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments) technology.
We know that kids will be kids, these HOYA lenses are made with light, thin and impact-resistant material, safest for even the most active of kids, and have a UV coating to protect eyes from blue light (from screens to low level sunlight).
Our team will be able to guide you on how best to use these lenses with your child: spending more time outside, wearing them as much as possible (especially for high concentration tasks such as homework) and getting regular check ups with us.
Charenton-le-Pont, 5 October 2020 – Essilor, the world’s leading ophthalmic optics company, recently launched Stellest™ lens, a new generation of spectacle lens solutions in the fight against myopia. Interim findings of an ongoing clinical trial show more than 60% slowdown in myopia progression on average, when compared to children wearing single vision lenses.
Myopia today represents a global health crisis, with five billion people expected to be myopic by 2050. It can progress rapidly in children, and may lead to sight-threatening eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, retinal detachment and macular degeneration later in life. When detected early, myopia control solutions can help in slowing down its progression in children, reducing such risks and ensuring a better life quality.
Myopia has been steadily increasing worldwide, in particular in China, with 54% prevalence in children aged 6-18 years and 81% prevalence in individuals aged 18 years and older1. In line with its mission of improving lives by improving sight and its commitment to focus resources where they are most needed, Essilor launched Stellest™ lens in the Wenzhou Medical University Eye Hospital in China in July 2020. This will be followed by a broader roll-out across other hospitals and top stores of selected chains in China, and progressively by several other countries.
Together with its key partner, the Wenzhou Medical University, Essilor launched in 2018 a three-year clinical trial on 167 myopic children2 in their joint Research and Development Center in China. The one-year results already demonstrate strong evidence of the Stellest™ lens’ effectiveness in slowing down myopia progression, positioning it as Essilor’s best solution to fight myopia progression in children. Indeed, after one year, children wearing Stellest™ lenses saved more than half a diopter of myopia degree on average, corresponding to a more than 60% slow-down in myopia progression on average, when compared to the control group wearing single vision lenses. Equally, over the same period, eye elongation3 was prevented in 28% of the children wearing Stellest™ lenses, while it occurred in all the children wearing single vision lenses.
Norbert Gorny, Co-Chief Operating Officer, Essilor International, commented: “The interim results of the study are impressive, confirming the positive impact of the Stellest™ lens on myopia in children, and making us fully confident that it will establish itself as one of the most effective myopia control spectacle lens in the world. Feedback from eye care professionals about the Stellest™ lens is extremely positive as they welcome a new solution that can change millions of children’s lives. It is a game changer and marks a new era of innovation in the fight against the myopia epidemic. This lens is testament to one of the many ways in which Essilor continues to push the boundaries with innovation and technology, in line with our mission of improving lives by improving sight.”
The Stellest™ lens has been designed by Essilor’s industry-leading research and development teams with an exclusive, pioneering technology called “H.A.L.T.” (Highly Aspherical Lenslet Target). It is the result of more than 30 years of academic studies, product design, rigorous research efforts, and collaborating with the top research institutes and myopia experts.
1 Source: McKinsey research; China National Health Commission 2018 survey.
2 The children in the study were between 8 and 13 years old and were divided into a treatment group equipped with Stellest™ lenses and a control group with single vision lenses.
3 Myopia is children is caused by an extra eye growth which engenders blurred far vision
Even with myopia management, your child may need a stronger prescription as they continue to grow so we recommend regular visits to your optician and keeping up to date with their latest prescription. Always take your Optometrist’s advice when it comes to corrective lenses as they will be able to offer you bespoke advice on a case by case basis. OrthoK lenses must be worn every night and myopia managing contact lenses (or glasses) must be worn everyday in order to achieve the best results. Talk to your optometrist to determine whether contact lenses, glasses, or perhaps a mixture of the two options is best for your child.
If you’re interested in discovering more about myopia management, have any questions or would like to book a consultation with your child, call our Dedicated Patient Support team on 0800 40 20 20 or book an appointment online.
We recommend our Ultimate Eye Examination which includes ultra-wide field and 3D retinal layer imaging and a full back of eye health assessment to examine any myopic symptoms and help advise you on the best care for your little one.
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