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Let's talk about Myopia!

Updated: Sep 18, 2023


About Myopia

Many of you may have heard of the eye condition - Myopia, it is one of the most common causes of blurry vision. Myopia, also known as ‘Nearsightedness’ or ‘Shortsightedness’ is characterized by difficulty seeing distant objects clearly while having relatively clear vision up close. In this post, we will explore its causes, symptoms, and potential treatments. Additionally, we will discuss the importance of regular eye exams and lifestyle factors that may influence its development.

What is Myopia?

Myopia occurs when the length of the eyeball is too long or the cornea is too curved, this causes light rays to focus in front of the retina instead of directly on it. As a result, distant objects appear blurred, while nearby objects remain clear.

Causes of Myopia:

Genetic and environmental factors can both play a role in the development of Myopia. If one or both parents are myopic, there is an increased likelihood that their children will also develop the condition. Additionally, spending excessive time engaging in activities that require intense near-focus, such as reading, using electronic devices, or extended periods of screen time, may contribute both to the onset of myopia and also its progression.

Symptoms of Myopia:

Recognizing the symptoms of myopia is crucial for early detection and appropriate management. Some common signs include:

• Blurred vision when looking at distant objects

• Squinting or straining the eyes to see far away

• Frequent headaches caused by eye strain

• Difficulty seeing clearly while driving or participating in sports

• Holding books or screens very close to the face

Diagnosis and Eye Exams:

Regular eye exams are essential for detecting myopia and other vision problems early on. Early detection enables timely intervention and appropriate management to prevent further progression.

Management and Treatment:

Managing myopia involves several approaches:

• Prescription Eyeglasses or Contact Lenses: Corrective lenses, such as glasses or contact lenses, are the most common and immediate method of correcting myopia. Through the principles of physics, these lenses bend light rays to focus directly on the retina, providing clear vision.

• Children who develop myopia from a young age who have parents with moderate to severe myopia can consider methods of controlling their myopia progression as well as correcting vision. At IC optometrists, we provide the following methods of Myopia Control:

  • Low-Dose compounded Atropine Eye Drops.

  • Multifocal soft contact lenses e.g. MiSight contact lenses.

  • D.I.M.S. technology spectacle lenses e.g. MiyoSmart lenses.

6. Lifestyle Factors:

Encouraging healthy lifestyle habits can also play a role in preventing the onset of myopia:

• Outdoor Time: Spending time outdoors, especially during childhood, has been associated with a reduced risk of developing myopia.

• Screen Time Moderation: Limiting screen time and taking regular breaks during prolonged near-focus activities can help reduce eye strain. Follow the 20-20-20 rule: after reading or focusing up close for 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

• Proper Lighting: Ensuring adequate lighting when reading or working on screens can minimize eye strain and discomfort.

Conclusion:

Myopia is a prevalent vision condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Regular eye exams, early detection, and appropriate treatment are essential in managing myopia and its progression effectively. If you or someone you know are experiencing symptoms of myopia, please book in a consultation for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized treatment plan.


References list:

1. Holden BA, Fricke TR, Wilson DA, Jong M, Naidoo KS, Sankaridurg P, Wong TY, Naduvilath TJ, Resnikoff S. Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050. Ophthalmology. 2016 May;123(5):1036-42.

2. COMET Group. Myopia stabilization and associated factors among participants in the Correction of Myopia Evaluation Trial (COMET). Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013 Dec 3;54(13):7871-84.

3. Flitcroft DI. The complex interactions of retinal, optical and environmental factors in myopia aetiology. Prog Retin Eye Res. 2012 Nov;31(6):622-60.

4. Tideman JW, Snabel MC, Tedja MS, van Rijn GA, Wong KT, Kuijpers RW, Vingerling JR, Hofman A, Buitendijk GH, Keunen JE, Boon CJ, Geerards AJ, Luyten GP, Verhoeven VJ, Klaver CC. Association of Axial Length With Risk of Uncorrectable Visual Impairment for Europeans With Myopia. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2016 Dec 1;134(12):1355-1363.

5. Chua SY, Sabanayagam C, Cheung YB, Chia A, Valenzuela RK, Tan D, Wong TY, Cheng CY, Saw SM. Age of onset of myopia predicts risk of high myopia in later childhood in myopic Singapore children. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2016 Jul;36(4):388-94.

6. Brennan NA, Toubouti YM, Cheng X, Bullimore MA. Efficacy in myopia control. Prog Retin Eye Res. 2020 Nov 27:100923. doi: 10.1016/j.preteyeres.2020.100923.

7. Bullimore MA, Brennan NA. Myopia Control: Why Each Diopter Matters. Optom Vis Sci. 2019 Jun;96(6):463-465.

8. Walline JJ, Gaume A, Jones LA, Rah MJ, Manny RE, Berntsen DA, Chitkara M, Kim A, Quinn N. Benefits of contact lens wear for children and teens. Eye Contact Lens. 2007;33(6 Pt 1):317-321.

9. Bullimore MA. The Safety of Soft Contact Lenses in Children. Optom Vis Sci. 2017;94(6):638-646.

10. Walline JJ, Jones LA, Rah MJ, Manny RE, Berntsen DA, Chitkara M, Gaume A, Kim A, Quinn N. Contact Lenses in Pediatrics (CLIP) Study: chair time and ocular health. Optom Vis Sci. 2007;84:896-902.

11. Yam JC, Jiang Y, Tang SM, Law AKP, Chan JJ, Wong E, Ko ST, Young AL, Tham CC, Chen LJ, Pang CP. Low-Concentration Atropine for Myopia Progression (LAMP) Study: A Randomized, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Trial of 0.05%, 0.025%, and 0.01% Atropine Eye Drops in Myopia Control. Ophthalmology. 2019 Jan;126(1):113-124.

12. North RV, Kelly ME. A review of the uses and adverse effects of topical administration of atropine. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 1987;7(2):109-14.

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