Myopia Management or Myopia Control
What Is Myopia Control Or Myopia Management?
Myopia control or myopia management is the area of children’s eye care dedicated to slowing down childhood myopia progression.
Myopia in children may also be called being short-sighted or near-sighted. It involves your child’s eye care professional prescribing special types of spectacle lenses or glasses, contact lens or atropine eye drops to slow down worsening of their vision. Your eye care professional will also talk to you about your child’s visual environment – how much time they spend on screens and reading, and how much time they spend outdoors.
The Myopia Management Options Available:
The younger a child becomes myopic, the faster they tend to progress, leading to higher levels of myopia. This means we should start a myopia management strategy as soon as possible.
Myopia Control Is About Protecting Eye Health
Myopia in children may just seem like a pair of glasses. However, as childhood myopia worsens, the eye is growing at an accelerated rate. The eyes are meant to grow in childhood, at a regular rate up until age 10-12. However if they grow too quickly or don’t stop at age 10-12, then a child becomes myopic. This excessive growth of the eye stretches the retina – the light sensitive layer lining the back of the eye – and the stretching increases risk of eye diseases and vision impairment occurring across your child’s lifetime.
A myopic eye is longer, or more stretched, than a normally sighted eye due to excessive eye growth.
A table showing the increased risk of eye diseases with higher levels of myopia, from Flitcroft et al 2012 (link). The risk of these eye diseases for someone who is not myopic is ‘1’ – these are odds ratios, indicating the multiple of increased risk for that eye disease by the level of myopia. For example, a -1.00D myope has a 2.1x increased risk of cataract and a 3.1 x increased risk of retinal detachment compared to someone who is not myopic.
Who Requires Myopia Control or Myopia Management:
- Patients with progressive myopia –Increasing every year by more than -0.50 D
- Patients at risk of becoming myopic – if one or both parents have myopia
- Patients spending more than 3 hours a day doing near work. For example, studying or on near digital devices (tablets, phones or computers)
- Patients who are outdoors less than 2 hours a day