Are you worried about your child’s short sightedness?
As a short sighted parent are you worried what is the likely hood of your child becoming myopic?
Can I slow down the progression of my child’s short sightedness?
As an Optometrist with a specific interest in paediatric eye care, I am regularly asked questions like the ones above. Decades of research has resulted in ground breaking developments in slowing the progression of myopia in children and young adults through contact lenses. We really do live in exciting times.
What is myopia?
Myopia is the medical term for short-sightedness, when the eyeball is too long or too powerful. The light coming into the eye falls in front of the retina, causing objects in the distance to look blurred.
Myopia often worsens as the eye grows, up until your early 20's.
Why do we develop myopia?
If 1 parent is myopic then a child is 3 x more likely to become myopic
If 2 parents are myopic then this increases to 6 x more likely.
2. A lot of close work i.e. reading, computers, phones, tablets are all contributing factors.
3. Lack of time spent outdoors.
Why do we need to control myopia?
Myopia generally gets worse over time. This not only affects your child’s ability to see it can also lead to a higher risk of serious eye diseases such as glaucoma, retinal detachment, cataract and bleeding blood vessels within the eye.
What is myopia control?
Specialised contact lenses that are proven to be very effective in slowing the progression of myopia. The latest study has shown to reduce myopic progression by up to 59%. The contact lenses work by slowing the process of elongation of the eyeball.
Is this treatment for life?
Myopia will naturally stop progressing when the eye stops changing shape which is normally around late teens or early 20's. At this point spectacles and/or traditional contact lenses can be used.
Are there risks to wearing the lenses?
As it is a daily disposable contact lens the risk of serious infection is minimal.
Comprehensive instruction,inserting and removing the lenses and a recommended hygiene regime will be given at the start of the programme to ensure minimal risks.
How often will you visit us?
The initial appointment will assess your child’s suitability for the myopic control treatment and measurements taken to choose the optimum lens.
They will then have a lens collection appointment at which they will see the Optometrist and also a clinical assistant who will take all the time needed to ensure your child can handle the lenses safely and fully explain the care regime.
Once everyone is happy and all your questions are answered your child may take the contact lenses home.
You will then return to the practice after a one or two week trial period to ensure everything is going smoothly.
Typically review and progress appointments will be every 6 months, the cost of which is included in the monthly fee.
What are the costs of the lenses?
There is an initial consultation fee of £25 which covers all the appointments required to ensure a successful start to the programme.
Thereafter there will be a monthly fee of £42 which covers the complex myopia control lenses and all further appointments and examinations.
It is worth noting that we cannot guarantee the effectiveness of the myopic control programme.
Other aspects to consider, for us all, not just myopes..........