Can I Control Myopia Progression In My Children?

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Can I Control Myopia Progression In My Children?

Can Myopia In Children Be Corrected Or Controlled?

Myopia is one of the most common eye diseases in Singapore. With myopia rates in children on the rise in Singapore, many parents are keen to find out more about controlling this disease. Find out more about myopia and shortsightedness, or keep reading for some myopia control and management measures.

What is myopia? What causes myopia?

Also known as “short sightedness” or “nearsightedness”, myopia is caused by improper refraction of light in the eye. Light rays bend incorrectly as they pass through the eye, leading to blurry vision when seeing faraway objects.

There are several possible causes of myopia. Genetics can play a role - people whose parents have myopia are more likely to develop it. Environmental factors including poor lighting and frequent near work can also contribute. Near work refers to activities done within a short working distance, such as reading books or writing. In recent years, more kids are being exposed to near work via high digital screen time usage from a young age.

What are symptoms of myopia?

Onset of myopia can be gradual or rapid, but typically worsens during childhood and puberty. Some signs to look out for:

  • Squinting to see clearly
  • Blurry vision
  • Needing to sit closer to see clearly (e.g. TV screen)
  • Headaches from eye strain

Yearly vision screenings by your child’s school might be able to detect severe signs of myopia, but are not the same as a full eye examination. Early intervention should be taken if you suspect your child could be shortsighted, as this will enable better myopia management and treatment. Reach out to us to find out more about booking a comprehensive eye examination for your child.

What are myopia control and management options for my child?

There is no absolute cure or prevention for myopia, but its progress can be slowed using different myopia treatments. As your children’s eyes are still growing and developing, these measures slow the progress of myopia so that your child’s degree does not increase too drastically. Find out about myopia control here.

1. Prescription Orthokeratology Lenses

Prescription orthokeratology (or “Ortho-K”) lenses are myopia control lenses worn at night to help reshape the eyeball. Ortho-K lenses have been shown to slow progression by 45%-100% with proper regular use and are a safe, reversible, non-invasive and non-surgical option for children and adults. Find out more about EMME Visioncare’s Ortho-K myopia control lenses here.

2. Eye drops

Atropine eye drops have been used to treat myopia in children since the 1960s, and have been shown to slow progression between 30%-77%. The drops come in varying dosages, and are prescribed accordingly. Corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses are typically still required during treatment.

3. Prescription contact lenses or spectacles

Bifocal or multifocal contact lenses have been shown to slow myopia progression by 29%-70%. Multifocal eyeglasses have been shown to slow progression by 12%-17%, and single lens eyeglasses by 0%-5%. Eyeglasses are the most common eyewear for children in Singapore - here are tips for finding suitable eyeglasses for your child.

4. Lifestyle changes

Making lifestyle changes has the potential to help control myopia progression. These include reducing near work and screen time, and encouraging outdoor activities and hobbies. This can help lessen eye strain as well as increase exposure to sunlight to promote healthy eye development in children.

Find out more at EMME Visioncare

Taking proactive measures to slow down or control myopia progression can help lessen its severity in young children. A wide range of corrective treatments are now available, so you can find an option to suit your child’s needs. Reach out to us for more information on myopia control in children, or to book a full eye examination for your child.