Believe it or not, myopia (short sightedness) is probably the biggest epidemic currently facing the modem world. It is predicted that within the next 25 years, over half the world’s population will be myopic.

So what is the problem with having to wear glasses for blurry distance vision?

The problem is that being myopic increases the chances of sight threatening eye conditions.Studies have shown the risk of glaucoma, early cataract, retinal detachment and myopic macular degeneration rises as myopia increases. In view of this we must do all we can to try and prevent myopia occurring, and if it is already present slow down its progression as best we can. The first step is to prevent our children becoming myopic in the first place.

So, who is at a higher risk of developing myopia?

  • Children of myopic parents.
  • Those who spend long periods doing close work without break, particularly in poor lighting.
  • Children who have few outdoor activitie,eg coming home from school and spending all their spare time on devices.

So, what can be done?

  • Improve lighting.
  • Increase the distance books and devices are held.
  • Have frequent breaks from near tasks.
  • GET OUTDOORS! Numerous studies have shown outdoor activity strongly helps protect you from the onset and progression of myopia.

If your child is already myopic, the next step is to do everything you can to slow down its progression. The easiest form of this is to take the advice above. However further myopia control options are recommended.

These include:

  • Specialised single vision, bifocal or progressive spectacles: these work reasonably well in certain circumstances for some patients.
  • Multifocal and Myopia Control soft contact lenses: special contact lenses that are worn during the day just like normal soft contact lenses and are very effective in myopia control.
  • Orthokeratology or Ortho-K lenses: these are hard contact lenses that are slept in and then removed on waking for clear daytime vision.
This treatment not only provides you with clear sight without daytime spectacles or contacts, it is also very effective in slowing myopia progression.
  • Atropine Eyedrop Therapy: special this is the most widespread myopia control therapy used worldwide.These drops slow down the elongated growth of the myopic eye, and have also been shown to also be very effective at reducing myopic progression. As Atropine drops do not correct the short-sighted persons blurry distance vision, spectacles or contact lenses are still required to be worn.

Vivian Optometrists are pleased to announce that we are one of the first Taranaki optometry practices to make Atropine Eyedrop Therapy available.

With the additional choice of Ortho-K and all the other myopia control options now available in one practice, we feel we can now tailor our treatment to achieve the best long term outcome for each patient.