What is Myopia?
Myopia is commonly known as ‘near-sightedness’ or ‘short-sightedness’ and is a common eye condition that causes blurred distance vision. Myopia is a condition in which light is focused in front of the retina, resulting in blurred vision. Short-sighted people can often see clearly at short distances but will not be able to see distant objects clearly.
The light rays focus at a point in front of the retina, instead of directly on the surface, causing blurred vision. This can be caused by the eyeball being too long and/or the cornea being too curved for the length of the eyeball.
Our goal is to assist every child to achieve the clearest vision possible and optimal visual performance.
About 65% of Australian parents (with children 0-17 years old) do not know what myopia is
Source: Myopia in Children
Myopia usually starts in childhood and typically progress until the child stops growing. However research shows that myopia is occurring earlier in life:
- In 1983, the typical onset of myopia was around 11 years of age.
- In 2000, the average onset of myopia was 8 years of age.
- In recent years, we have seen onset occurring as early as 5-6 years old. Alarmingly, myopia tends to progress at the most aggressive rate between 5-9 years old, and can be -1D to -2D per year.
Because myopia progression typically slows around 17 years of age, this earlier onset results in a higher end point.
If myopia progresses at -1.00D per year from 5-9 years old, and -0.5D per year from 9-17 years old…
*This scenario is hypothetical. Actual progression rates will differ person to person.
Myopia starts at age 11, and progresses until age 17.
Prescription will be -3.00D by 17yrs old
Myopia started at age 8, and progresses until age 17.
Prescription will be -5.00D by 17yrs old
Myopia started at age 5, and progresses until age 17.
Prescription will be -8.00D by 17yrs old
This is of significant concern given that high myopia (a refractive error of at least -5.00D in either eye) is associated with a higher risk of developing:
High prescriptions also have the disadvantage of:
- Higher cost for spectacle lenses
- Lower tolerance of spectacles (e.g. headaches, lower clarity)
Research has found that managing myopia in its early stages can slow its progression, reducing the potential risk of developing high myopia and its associated conditions later in life.
Grace & Vision Optometrist has a special interest in controlling the progression of childhood myopia through a variety of methods.
Causes of Myopia
Research shows that modern lifestyles may influence the development of myopia.
- Low levels of outdoor activity
- Low levels of light exposure
- Prolonged near tasks such as reading and gaming on portable devices
Genetics also plays a strong role. The likelihood of developing myopia, particularly high myopia increases when one or both parents are myopic.
The following signs indicate that your child may need to have their eyes examined:
- Problems seeing the TV or blackboard
- Holding things too close to the face
- Eye rubbing or excessive blinking
- Reduced performance at school
- Complaining of sore eyes or headaches
- Tired eyes
- Squinting eyes
How to Monitor Myopia
Because protecting children’s vision is so important to us, we have invested in training and equipment to provide the best solutions for myopia.
The AL Scan is a rare piece of equipment among Brisbane optometrists as not many can afford the time and resources to comprehensively manage myopia. It can measure exact eyeball length to the closest 0.05mm, which provides valuable information to measure and predict myopia progression, and to determine the most suitable course of action.
AL Scan machine
Samples results from the AL Scan
What can you do?
Talk to us about finding a myopia control solution by booking an appointment to with one of our optometrist .