THE MYOPIA CONTROL AWARENESS CAMPAIGN
Is a non-commercial, crowd-funded and crowd-run industry collaboration campaign, launched to ensure that every UK parent of a child first diagnosed with MYOPIA PROGRESSION is made aware of:
- Myopia Progression’ being flagged up to them
- What the term ‘Myopia’ actually means
- The long term risks of eye disease to their children
- What ‘Myopia control’ means and the options
- The meaning of medical terms e.g. Glaucoma
- 5 questions to ask their Eye Care Professional (ECP)
What is myopia
Myopia, casually called “Short sight”, is a condition that, unknown to many, increases sight threatening conditions such as retinal detachments and diseases like glaucoma and myopic macular degeneration. Treat these seriously. The higher the Myopia, the higher the risk of diseases.
Myopia leads to the eye growing longer, making the retina more likely to degenerate. If we think of the eye like a camera, the retina is the film, capturing what we see. If the retina becomes damaged this can lead to sight loss that cannot be corrected with spectacles or surgery. In the worst case it can lead to partial sight or blindness.
The good news is that the amount of Myopia can now be reduced in children. The chart below shows how EARLY CONTROL should help your child see better over their lifetime, reducing their risk of eye disease later on in life.
WHY TAKE MYOPIA SERIOUSLY?
TRAFFIC LIGHTS & YOUR CHILD
(on the chart below)
RED High myopia. Early control vital
AMBER Moderate myopia. Green possible
GREEN This is where we’re aiming for
This is when your child’s Myopia decreases by more than -0.5D in 12 months. Your optician will flag this up to you. At this point you need to ask your optician the 5 questions below and understand your child’s projected path on the chart. Don’t be embarrassed to ask any questions you have as it’s important that you understand all the terms and what is going on.
AN ‘EYE TEST’ ASSESSES EYE HEALTH
Eye tests are not a ‘test for glasses’. They test eye health. Our children are predicted to live until they are 90+ so their eyes need to last a long time! The RED ZONE means poorer eye health – when they get older they may struggle to see the top line of the chart without correction, may be unable to drive and will have a higher risk of eye disease. Taking early action now to keep them in the GREEN or the AMBER will help them later in life.
Every Dioptre counts. Low myopia now = better later.
More time outdoors can control myopia
Studies have shown that over 14 hours per week (2 hours/day) spent outdoors reduces the risk of developing short sight. Walking to school and no screens on car journeys are also beneficial good lifestyle habits worth establishing now. All free!
MYOPIA CONTROL DEVICES
The world is getting better at myopia control in children, with new research and innovations every year.
The current UK options available to you are:
– GLASSES with Myopia Control
Specialist glasses lenses that focus the light better around the edge of the eye. Worn like normal glasses
– DAY LENSES with Myopia Control
Specialist contact lenses worn during the day that focus the light better around the edge of the eye
– NIGHT LENSES with Myopia Control
(aka Ortho-k | Orthokeratology lenses)
Lenses worn at night that correct your eye while you sleep. No need for glasses/contacts during the day
What do the optometrists say about the device options?
- GLASSES with Myopia Control
“These glasses with myopia control are a fantastic recent innovation for short sighted children already in glasses who are used to glasses and not keen on lenses in their eyes. Easy to fit, effective … and off they go!”
First Surname, Optometrist
- DAY LENSES with Myopia Control
“Day lenses with myopia control are disposable lenses that can be worn full or part time, ideal for youngsters wanting freedom from glasses and can also be used in conjunction with myopia control specs”
Deven Lakhani, Optometrist
- NIGHT LENSES with Myopia Control (aka Ortho-k | Orthokeratology lenses)
“Night lenses correct your vision while you sleep. Wake and remove for naturally perfect sight. Freedom from glasses or lenses during the day. I’ve fitted them to kids from 5 years old, so easy to use.”
Scott Brown, Optometrist
5 questions parents MUST ask their optician in the test room
- Does my child have myopia?
- What line on the eye chart can they see now?
- What line might they see in 5 years’ time?
- What is their projected line on the graph?
- What myopia control options are available to us?
“Starting early – best thing I ever did” | Jaimin, dad of 2 boys
I have two teenage sons, both of whom have myopia. The older one (now 16) has been wearing a myopia control device from the age of 9 when he was at -2.00 in both eyes. He has only progressed by -1.00 over the last 7 years. The younger son (now 14) started at -1.50 and has been totally stable since the age of 10. They are both in the GREEN ZONE.
As a dad starting early to help my boys see well and decrease their risk of eye disease later in life was the best thing I ever did.
As a clinician myopia control in youngsters is quite simply one of the most rewarding things I do.
JAIMIN PATEL, OPTOMETRIST (& DAD)
“I’m gutted we didn’t start earlier” | Tom, dad of 3 boys
“Benjamin is short sighted”
This is what the optician said. My wife and I thought nothing of it. Short sight is harmless right? Benjamin was 8. Aged 9-13 his sight crashed down to -3.75 & -4.00. When his glasses fell off he couldn’t see anything. A keen surfer he could no longer see the waves. He stopped playing sport and lost confidence. It broke our hearts.
We were finally told that ‘Short sight’ was a colloquial name for the medical condition ‘myopia’ and were shocked to discover the worse his short sight (Myopia) got, the higher his risks were of life affecting eye disease later on in life! Why had no one told us this before??
When he was 14 he was fitted with a myopia control device. Stable for 2 years now, he’s RED going into AMBER (upper dotted line). He’s now 16, a surfer, happy, confident – the transformation was incredible!
I’m gutted that we didn’t start earlier, to give him better sight and a better life. Jaimin’s son (above) was very similar to Benjamin. He started aged 9, Benjamin 5 years later at 14. When they get older Jaimin’s lad will be able to see the 4th or 5th line down on the chart without any assistance, almost the legal driving limit, and will have a low risk of eye disease. Benjamin will only see the top line and will have a moderate risk of eye disease. That’s what starting 5 year’s too late means to him long term.
That said, thankfully we did start, otherwise he wouldn’t be able to see the chart at all when he’s older, would probably need laser eye surgery and would have a very high risk of eye disease.
I wish this website and advice had been around then. My message to parents reading this – take it seriously and start myopia control early!
TOM GRIFFITHS, DAD