Here we have some answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about myopia management.
My child has just been diagnosed with short sightedness. Will this be a problem in the future?
Short-sightedness (otherwise known as myopia) is usually progressive and that the earlier the onset of myopia, the faster it progresses.
Therefore, if your child is diagnosed with myopia it is likely that the myopia will become stronger over time as they grow.
Research has also consistently shown that myopia leads to an increased likelihood of eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataract, myopic maculopathy and retinal detachment later in life and that the risk of these conditions increases as the strength of the myopia increases.
So, if your child is short sighted, you may worry at each eye examination when they need stronger spectacles and you may well become concerned about how strong their prescription will end up being as they reach adulthood.
What is myopia management?
Myopia Management is the slowing down or reduction of the rate of progression of your child’s myopia using specialist spectacle lenses, lifestyle advice and regular monitoring and whereas myopia management is now available with every optician, it is available here at Pearce & Blackmore Opticians.
What are the steps?
Firstly, we will book your child in for a myopia assessment. Here Clare will be able to look at family history, age and current prescription whilst also taking into account any relevant environmental and lifestyle factors to determine whether your child would benefit from a myopia management program. If at this point, Clare feels that your child would benefit from myopia management, this will be recommended and you will receive a detailed information pack to take home, read through and consider. The pack will include information on how the specialist spectacle lenses work and also full details of all costs involved on both our pay as you go and our monthly, all in subscription plan.
If you decide to go ahead, your child will need to come and choose some frames for their new spectacles and a series of measurements will need to be taken to ensure that your child gets the best from the specialist spectacle lenses.
Approximately two weeks after collecting the new spectacles, we will contact you for a follow up telephone consultation and your child will be offered a follow up fitting appointment if necessary. Then, every six months thereafter, we recommend a myopia assessment alongside a routine eye examination. This will allow us to provide you with a six monthly report of the progression of the myopia.
If your child is is part of our monthly subscription plan then each myopia assessment is covered by the monthly payment and replacement lenses will be provided free of charge every six months if they are needed due to prescription changes or scratches on the lenses.
Alongside this we would also recommend regular fitting appointments so that we can ensure that your child is always looking through the correct portion of the lens.
What could happen if we decide not to try myopia management?
Whereas spectacles can correct the blurry vision associated with myopia, we know that if you only use the traditional method of single vision distance glasses, the rate of myopia progresses throughout childhood and teenage years, until the eyes themselves have finished growing. This progression leads to a stronger prescription, which leads to thicker lenses which are more costly and less cosmetically pleasing.
As mentioned earlier, research shows an increased risk of eye disease for patients with myopia which includes retinal detachment, myopic macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts. These risks are present even in small levels of myopia and they do increase as the myopia increases.
What is the best age to start with myopia management? Is there an upper or lower age limit?
The best time to start a myopia management strategy is as soon as possible upon diagnosis of myopia, and myopia management is available for all ages. Myopia progresses at a faster rate under about 9 years old and we know that the earlier the onset of myopia, the stronger the myopia will be by adulthood, so quite simply, the sooner that myopia management is started, the more effective it is likely to be.
There is no minimum or maximum age for myopia control. If the myopia is progressing, we would recommend myopia management.
Will my child need to wear special frames for their myopia management spectacles?
Although there are some small restrictions due to size and shape in order to get the most from the specialist lenses, your child will be able to choose from our extensive range of children’s frames as he/she usually would.
What is MiYOSMART?
MiYOSMART, is a specialist spectacle lens that has multiple lenslets built into it giving a consistent peripheral blur but with a central clear focal area. These lenses have been shown to slow the progression of myopia.
Do the specialist lenses look like normal lenses?
Although the lenses contain hundreds of tiny lenslets within them, these are very small and they are almost invisible unless you are specifically looking for them.
Can I have some more information?
If you would like more information about our Myopia Management program then please send us an email or give us a call on 029 2054 9563.