Singapore is #1 statically in the world for the prevalence of childhood myopia. Up to 65% of children are myopic by the age of 12. This is an alarming figure, as these kids can potentially developing high myopia (ie more than -6.00 D), with an average progression of 0.75D per year.
High Myopia are often associated with high risk of developing complications that would lead to reduce vision or blindness such as retinal detachment, Glaucoma and macular degeneration. Myopia is unfortunately a non-reversible phenomenon.
What is Myopia?
Myopia or short-sighted is when far object are blurred due to the elongation of the eye ball, which results the image to focus in front of the retina.
What are the main causes of myopia?
The exact causes are not known. However, it has shown a strong linked of genetic predisposition and environmental factors. Children whose parents are myopic are likely to be myopic. Long hours of constant near work and reduce outdoor activities are often contribute to the progression of myopia.
How do we manage children with progressive myopia?
1) Good eye care habits are important!
Frequent eye breaks after 30-40mins of near work are essential. Engage in more outdoor activities to relax the eyes from indoor activities eg playing games on tablets and computer. Maintain a good reading distance and having sufficient lightings are important too!
2) Myopia Control Spectacle lenses
We fit special myopia control lenses that can be incorporated into the spectacle frames eg Myovision and Myopilux lenses to young children to retard the progression of myopia.
3) Orthokeratology treatment
The most effective way to curb the progression of myopia in children, by using specially designed Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) lenses. Children can wear them safely (we only prescribe FDA approved contact lenses) overnight and enjoy corrected vision in the day. Many researches worldwide has shown promising results in slowing down the progression of myopia by using orthokeratology treatment. Find out more here.