What is Myopia?
Having Myopia or being Shortsighted means that without a spectacle or contact lens correction you can’t see clearly in the distance. The higher the prescription the closer things have to be in order to see them clearly.
What causes Myopia?
We see clear images when the rays of light from an object in the distance come to a focused point at the retina (the back of the eye). Myopia occurs when the rays are focused in front of the retina. The cause of this is either a cornea (front of the eye) that is too steeply curved or, more commonly, an eyeball that is too long, or a combination of the two.
What is Myopia Control?
In the past many different methods to control myopia have been suggested including eye exercises, hard contact lenses and under-correcting the spectacle prescription with little evidence of working. There is some evidence that prescribing bifocals or progressive spectacle lenses may help in some individuals.
Based on the current research, what is really needed is a lens which focuses light on the central retina for good vision while keeping peripheral light rays in front of the peripheral retina in order to avoid the stimulation of eye growth which causes myopia progression.
Although it is possible to create a spectacle lens like this it is not effective as the eye moves around and will not always be looking through the centre of the lens. A contact lens however will move around with the eye and may be more effective in generating such an optical system.
Patrick Moore Opticians are one of only a very few contact lens specialists who use specially designed daily contact lenses that create the optical effect needed. We use a lens, called MiSight, which has been shown to reduce myopia progression, on average,by 59%. It is approved by the FDA in the United States and by the European Union.
What age is suitable for Myopia Control?
If a person’s myopia is progressively deteriorating, the earlier they start Myopia Control the better. In fact, we recommend that Myopia Control should be commenced as soon as a myopia tendency is recognised.
At Patrick Moore Opticians we regularly and successfully fit contact lenses to children as young as six. We will consider myopia control with even younger children when parents are willing to take an active role in the therapy by performing insertion, removal and lens care for their child.
Why do I need Myopia Control?
Some people ask ‘Why do I need myopia control, I can just get stronger and stronger glasses as I get worse?’
The most important answer to this question is that as the myopia increases the eyeball gets longer and the retina is stretched over a larger area. As a result of this the higher a person’s myopia, the more at risk they are to eye health issues later on in life, e.g. retinal tears and detachment, retinal atrophies and degenerative disorders, optic nerve atrophies, myopic maculopathies, macula holes and vitreo-retinal disorders.
It has also been shown that other eye diseases such as glaucoma and cataract are more common in people with myopia and the risk increases as the myopia increases.
With regards to glasses themselves, as the prescription increases the lenses get steadily thicker. A myopic prescription also makes the eyes look smaller than in reality and the higher the prescription the greater this minification effect.
If the myopia is halted or slowed early enough it may even be possible to keep the uncorrected prescription at a level where full time wear will not be necessary.
If you think you would be interested in myopia control for you or your children then please give us a call and we can book an appointment to see Patrick.