The aim of myopia control is to slow or halt the progression of myopia. There is currently no cure for myopia. Even laser surgery in adulthood doesn’t alter the length of the eye, just the front surface, so doesn’t reduce the risk of associated conditions.
What is Myopia?
Myopia, or short-sightedness, is a result of the eye becoming too long to focus correctly. This results in blurred distance vision but often near objects are clear. For most the problem is inconvenience, being dependent on spectacles or contact lenses can be frustrating. However, highly myopic eyes are at greater risk of developing serious conditions such as retinal detachment and glaucoma. You are most likely to become short-sighted if your parents are. However, myopia is increasing worldwide and at a rate which cannot be explained by genetics alone.
There have been many ineffective approaches to myopia control resulting from poor understanding of it’s cause. However, there may finally be some hope. Research has now shown that light going to the periphery of the retina is responsible for eye growth. In myopic individuals peripheral light entering the eye comes into focus behind the retina. This so called ‘hyperopic defocus’ is now believed to signal the eye to elongate, and therefore become more short-sighted. As a consequence myopic control is now aimed at creating peripheral ‘myopic defocus’.
Simply call 01242 282059 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a visit from your personal optometrist.
EyeDream for Myopia Control
EyeDream is a form of orthokeratology. Very simply, EyeDream is a specially designed, highly oxygen permeable contact lens that reverses the power of the cornea during overnight wear. Once the full effect has taken place, the eye is effectively ‘normal’ and you can see clearly during the day. Extensive research worldwide has shown orthokeratology has the greatest effect on slowing the progression of myopia through peripheral myopic defocus. As normal contact lenses do not change the way light hits the peripheral retina they are not effective at controlling the length of the eye. The effect is not guaranteed, as results vary for individual children, but it has never been shown to make children more myopic.
Zeiss MyoVision spectacle lenses
Currently not available in the UK, these spectacle lenses also induce peripheral myopic defocus. Though not the first choice correction they offer an alternative to those children unable, or too young, to wear contact lenses.
MiSight contact lenses
Again not yet available in the UK, these contact lenses work similar to EyeDream by creating peripheral myopic defocus. EyeDream is still the first choice treatment due to a more stable correction but the Misight design offers an alternative for those prescriptions out of range. Though Misight branded lenses are not available, a very similar product manufactured by the same company is. Though not marketed as a contact lens for myopia control in the UK, with a slight modification to the ordering process there is no reason why this lens cannot be used. Unfortunately astigmatism is not corrected with these lenses but if necessary can be corrected in spectacles for use over the lenses.