Myopia affects one in three people in the UK.
Myopia, otherwise known as short sightedness is an extremely common eye condition which causes distant objects to appear blurry and increases the risk of eye disease in later life.
Myopia develops as the eye grows and as the eye becomes longer the short sightedness increases. While myopia itself leads to blurred vision in the distance we also know that as myopia increases so does the risk of common eye diseases such as Glaucoma, Retinal Detachment, Cataract and Myopic Macular Degeneration.
Symptoms of myopia include not being able to see objects in the distance as clearly anymore (whiteboards in school or road signs are common examples) but can also include squinting, headaches and eye strain. If you notice these and are already wearing spectacles or contact lenses it’s important to get another eye exam as your prescription may have increased.
Normal spectacles and contact lenses correct myopia and remove the blurred vision but do not slow the progression of myopia.
Special contact lenses are now available which can be worn overnight (OrthoK), or during the day (MiSight, NaturalVue) to slow down the development of myopia. These myopia management (or myopia control) lenses do not reverse any myopia which has already developed but aim to slow down future increases in short sightedness while still correcting vision so the patient can see well.
Myopia development usually slows down or stops in early 20’s but can continue to develop in some patients. By reducing the rate of progression we aim to reduce the final prescription that a patient will reach and at the same time hope to reduce their risk of developing the eye diseases above as they get older.
If you think you or your child may be developing or may have myopia then it is important that you arrange an appointment as the earlier we correct vision the better.