Myopia is the medical term for short-sightedness, when the eyeball is too long or too powerful, causing objects in the distance to look blurred. Generally once you have myopia (short-sight) your prescription declines over time, in particular during childhood as the eye grows.
If one or both parents are short-sighted (myopic), the chance of their child becoming short-sighted increases, and their chance of having a high prescription increases further if their own prescriptions are high. Children are most likely to become myopic between the ages of six and 13 years.
If a child is myopic, they are at risk of their vision deteriorating quickly. This means reliance on stronger glasses, and poorer vision without their spectacles on which has an impact on day to day activities such as sports and other hobbies . In addition to that higher levels of myopia are also linked to an increased risk of developing eye diseases such as glaucoma, retinal detachment, macular degeneration and cataract in later life. Worryingly the rate of myopia (short-sightedness) in the world is increasing dramatically and in the UK the levels of myopia have doubled since the 1960’s. Now one in five teenagers in the UK are myopic. Much research is being done to try to identify why this is the case and to Improve the outlook.
Myopia Management is a relatively new concept so we are keen to ensure people know it is an option for many children who are currently relying on glasses to correct their short-sightedness.
This is a very detailed explanation of myopia and how it progresses which may be helpful for parents considering Myopia Management for their children.
This website My Kid’s Vision is a free online tool that helps parents assess and manage myopia risks for their children. The most accurate assessment will, of course, be performed by your optometrist.