Myopia or Shortsightedness
What is it?
People who are short sighted have blurred distance vision but usually have good near vision. It usually starts in childhood and is more common in children who have a myopic parent. Shortsighted eyes are longer than average and become longer as the myopia increases.
Problems with myopia
A myopic person needs to wear glasses or contact lenses in order to see well in the distance. This can be inconvenient and costly over a lifetime. Unfortunately shortsighted eyes are more prone to develop problems such as retinal detachment, glaucoma and macular degeneration. The risk increases with the level of myopia and over time so a highly myopic person is more likely to have poorer vision as they age.
Why does myopia develop?
Myopia is an increasing problem worldwide so a great deal of research is being done. We know that there is a strong genetic factor: shortsighted parents tend to have shortsighted children. But there are other factors too and we are trying to answer questions which still puzzle us. Why does myopia increase when populations become less rural and more educated? Why do children who spend more time out of doors (at least two hours per day) become less shortsighted even if they read a lot and have shortsighted parents?
Is there a cure?
We cannot cure myopia. Myopia happens because the eyeball has grown too long and this cannot be reversed.
We can try to stop it getting worse or to slow the rate at which it progresses. Eyesight will be protected if we can prevent low myopia progressing to high myopia.
We have seen many theories come and go but until now there has not been a treatment that has been shown to work in a properly controlled scientific study.
However there are now available a myopia control soft contact lens, MiSight®1 day, and a myopia control spectacle lens, MiYOSMART. A series of worldwide studies have shown that wearing either of these lenses substantially slows the progression of myopia in children.
We are proud to be among the first optometrists to be able to offer these revolutionary lenses.
Please get in touch if you would like to know more. We are very happy to discuss any of the issues raised here and to tell you more about these exciting new developments.