What Is Myopic Management and Why are MiyoSmart Lenses a Great Place to Start?
- Cost a little more than normal lenses but they are way less than any of the other alternatives (contact lenses or drugs).
- Kids have little to no trouble using them.
- The glasses don’t look different so there is no ‘Bullying-at-School.’ In fact we find if you spend a wee bit more on a ‘Nike’ frame your child becomes the ‘cool’ kid.
- They work as well as the contact lenses or the drugs.
- The lenses are UV blocking & Impact resistant.
What Is Myopia (Shortsighted)?
Children’s eyes continue to grow until they reach 10-12 years of age. By then the growing stops.
In some children the rate of growth is too fast. In some children the eyes seem to want to keep growing after the ages of 12.
Why Is Myopia A Problem?
The simple answer is that any eye which grows too much gets stretched. Think of the eye much like a balloon full of water. If you put too much water in the balloon, the balloon stretches until it is so thin you can almost see it wants to burst.
When an eye gets stretched there is enormous pressure on the retina (the ‘film’ at the back of the eye). Children who develop Moderate to High levels of Myopia (shortsightedness) have a much greater chance of developing eye diseases for the rest of their life. Disease such as:
- Macular Degeneration,
- Retinal Detachment &,
- Myopic Maculopathy.
Now just because you may have had ‘Laser Surgery’ to correct your Myopia it doesn’t mean you have ‘fixed’ your stretched eyes. This is a very commonly held belief but unfortunately it is just plain wrong.
So in summary it is better not to have Myopia if you can avoid it.
Can Myopia Be Cured?
No, at this time we have no way to shrink an eye back to a more normal size.
It would be nice if you could do a few exercises and the eye got smaller. Even better if you could simply press your eyes every day and they miraculously got smaller. If you believe that then pressing your feet on the ground when you walk should also make you shorter?
Nowadays we have special machines that can measure the ‘axial length’ of the eye and we know that exercises, drugs or vitamins do not make the eye shrink.
Is Sunlight Helpful?
We Researchers seem to think Sunlight seems to be useful. This theory comes about from Research that shows that children who spend a lot of time indoors tend to have higher rates of Myopia & the amount of Myopia they end up with is more.
As a result most experts who study Myopia recommend 60-90 minutes of ‘Sun Safe’ daylights for every child every day. Interestingly it doesn’t seem to matter whether the child uses a hat and sunglasses, is playing undercover or uses early morning (before 8am) or late afternoon (after 4pm). The benefits are all the same.
Are Devices Harmful?
That is a tough one. The answer is we are not sure. Again experts recommend less than 30 minutes of device time away from School for children under 8 years of age.
Now before you parents all start jumping up and down about ‘devices at school’ studies using ‘Eye Trackers’ placed on children in classrooms show that in a classroom setting children look away from the device 10 times in a single minute. When was the last time you saw your child look away from their favourite device for more than a few seconds when they were gaming or watching YouTube at home?
What Is Myopic Management / Control?
In summary there are four ways we seem to be able to slow the progress of Myopia in Children. We cannot stop it and the controls we have at present are by no means 100% successful on all children.
BUT!!! The alternative is to sit back and do nothing. Having been an optometrist the idea of doing nothing no longer sits well with me. I would much rather help slow the myopia in 60% of children by doing something. Than watching 100% of children get worse by doing nothing.
What Are Your Options?
- MiyoSmart Spectacle Lenses.
- Special Soft Contact Lenses.
- Orthokeratology – Hard Contact Lenses
- Atropine Eye Drops.
You will not be surprised to learn that sometimes one solution will work better for one child and hardly have an effect on another. So don’t get all excited about one option and simply ignore the rest. In time Contact Lenses may become another option.
As a Parent I must say that the use of drugs on a daily basis is something I would have wanted to use as a very last resort on any of my children. As an Optometrist I am not going to recommend something to a Parent that I would want to use myself.