Diagram showing how light focuses where the eye used to be, before the abnormal myopic growth started.
Click image for reference.
Myopia, also known as short-sightedness, is an eye condition that gives permanent blurry distance vision. Myopic people wear glasses to drive, to walk around in and to see well at the movies and to watch TV. In higher myopia, people need to wear glasses full time. In very high myopia, people cannot function without their glasses, even to get to the bathroom in the middle of the night in their own home.
Myopia is increasing in worldwide prevalence. We are seeing more myopia than 20, 10 or even 5 years ago. Current estimates suggest by 2050 half the world's population will be myopic, with a large proportion in Asian and Indian populations.
Myopia and the Healthy Eye
Myopia is now considered an eye disease where there is abnormal growth and stretching of the retina. As myopia increases the risk of eye diseases increases. Cataract is more common in myopia. Glaucoma is more common in myopia. Retinal tear and retinal detachment is more common in myopia. Myopic macula degeneration is more common the higher the level of myopia.
Myopia Onset & Progression
Myopia can start as young as 4 years of age, but the high risk age for onset is between 6 and 16 years of age. We advise eye exams for children every year, or sooner if they report blurry vision or if they squint or seem to be having difficulty with their vision. Research and experience tells us that myopia tends to get worse (stronger glasses every year). There is lots of research to show that accepting your genetics, and doing nothing except wearing glasses will progress your myopia until it burns itself out, perhaps around age 21 but it some people gradual increase for most of their lives.
There is lots of research to show that accepting your genetics, and doing nothing except wearing glasses for myopia, will allow your myopia to progress until it burns itself out, perhaps at powers of-3D or -6D or -10D.
MYOPIA CONTROL is the term for methods to try to reduce this natural myopia endpoint, to make your numbers slow down or stop, so your child will be a -3D instead of a -6D, or a -6D instead of a -10D or even never develop myopia.
We know that as myopia increases, the natural sphere-shape of the eye becomes distorted, with a stretchy bulge at the back, much like a bulge on a failing car tire. This increases the eye's risk of eye diseases such as myopic-macula degeneration, cataract, glaucoma and 'blow-out's such as retinal tears or retinal detachment.
Book A Myopia Control Appointment
Book a new patient exam and we'll start your myopia control journey.
If it's over 12 months and you have myopia: it’s time to book an eye exam.
Research & Further Reading:
Here is an excellent website:
This is a large USA study showing orthokeratology contact lenses slows the progression of myopia in children:
The ATOM study shows that myopia can be slower or stopped with very low dose (0.01%) atropine eyedrops daily:
Other references to read: