What is myopia?
Myopia (short-sightedness) involves the eyeball being too long or too powerful. This results in blurred distance vision, however vision for close objects is clear within a certain range of distances.
What causes myopia?
Myopia has been shown to be genetic and environmental in nature.
- If you or your partner is myopic your child has a 3x greater risk of developing myopia.
- If both yourself and your partner are myopic your child has a 7x greater risk of myopia
Increased time indoors, increased close detailed tasks such as reading books, smart phones and tablets have also been linked with increased levels of myopia.
Is my child at risk of developing myopia?
You can assess your child’s risk of developing myopia using a free web questionnaire at myopiacare.org. This system takes into account risk factors such as age, current spectacle prescription, family history and lifestyle to assess the risk of progressive myopia based on recent research.
Why is myopia so important?
We are going through a ‘myopia boom’ at present with recent studies showing an alarming increase in myopia across all races, across the globe. In East Asia 90% of teenagers and young adults are myopic. Levels of myopia in Australia, USA and Europe have doubled in the last century. In the UK myopia now affects around 1 in 4 young people.
Studies have also shown that increased levels of myopia can increase the risk of serious eye problems such as retinal detachment, early onset cataract, glaucoma and macular disease later in life. Our children are expected to live longer than us, meaning a small increase in myopia now can cause a significant increase in the risk of eye disease later in life. The aim of myopia management is to offer children sharp and clear vision today, and reduce the lowlihood of developing sight threatening conditions later in life.