– Myopia (short-sightedness) –
Anyone who has myopia (or short-sightedness) knows how frustrating it can be. You only need to have a small amount to be completely reliant upon either glasses or contact lenses every day. But the scary thing is that the rates of people with myopia are going up around the world. There are many theories as to why, whether it is less time outdoors or more time on screen-based work, but the current prediction is that half of the world’s population will be short-sighted by the year 2050.
Eye Health Risks Associated with Myopia
Apart from a life-long reliance upon glasses, becoming short-sighted also has other issues attached. With moderate to severe levels of myopia (ie -4.00D and above), there is a much greater risk of developing glaucoma, cataracts, retinal detachments and other serious eye conditions in your lifetime. This is sobering information for not only us, but for the vision of our future generations.
Slowing the Progression of Myopia
Studies have been conducted over the last decade to look at ways we can either prevent or slow down the progression of myopia, especially in young children who are at the greatest risk of developing the condition.
We have access to new software that can predict how short-sighted you or your child will become in the future and the relative risk of ocular conditions associated with the degree of myopia experienced.
At this stage, there are three proven strategies to slow the progression of short-sightedness once it has begun: atropine eye drops, orthokeratology and soft multifocal contact lenses. All have pros & cons and a full eye exam and discussion of these treatment options is the best way to decide how to treat your or your child’s myopia.
And remember the easiest myopia prevention strategy: get outdoors!! Current studies suggest that “less screen and more green” might be the easiest and most successful treatment of them all.