Myopia Control and Effective Management with Axial Length
What is Myopia?
Myopia is the medical term for short-sightedness, which means that you can see things up close but not at a distance. Another way of thinking about myopia is that the shape of the eye has grown too long for its own focusing power.
Traditionally, we used to correct blurred vision due to myopia with regular glasses and contact lenses.
The new standard of care is to now treat the condition itself rather than just the vision. We can treat myopia by slowing down its progression and in some cases stopping it from deteriorating altogether.
What is Myopia Control?
Myopia Control are evidence-based treatment options that can control the progression of myopia. It can be used to prevent or delay the onset of myopia, or slow it down once it has developed (or sometimes stop it altogether).
Myopia control includes lifestyle advice as well as different treatment options, each with its own benefits.
Orthokeratology (Ortho-K or OK):
This is a specialist contact lens procedure that gently reshapes your eye while you sleep to give you clear long-lasting daytime vision, without the need for any glasses or contact lenses. It is considered the ‘gold standard’ for myopia control.
Ortho-K requires specialist equipment, training and experience and so it is a procedure that not all optometrists can perform. You can read more about Orthokeratology here.
Special Myopia Control Glasses
These are innovative specially designed spectacle lenses that refocuses light in a similar way to Ortho-K.
It is generally prescribed for children who prefer to wear glasses or who are not suitable for contact lenses. These are not the same as your regular vision correcting lenses.
We are a specially accredited practice for the Hoya MiyoSmart special myopia control glasses. As the premiere practice for Hoya MiyoSmart in Footscray and surrounding suburbs, we have the experience to give you the best advice.
Low-dose Atropine eye drops
These are specially made eyedrops for children that is used nightly just before bedtime.
It can be given alone or in combination with another myopia control option.
There are different concentrations of these drops and we can discuss with you which is the most suitable for your child.
Multifocal Soft Contact Lenses:
These are soft multifocal contact lenses that are worn during the day only and are removed at night.
These are also different from your regular vision correcting soft contact lenses.
We are a specially accredited practice for MiSight Contact Lenses.
At Eye & I, we can determine your suitability for all of these options.
As unique as you are with your vision needs, there is no one solution that is suitable for everyone.
Why is Myopia Control Important?
Myopia, and especially high levels of myopia, can have an impact on your quality of life. It may affect your educational and occupational activities, as well as the social activities of your daily living. There can also be increased costs associated with medical care for high myopia.
More importantly, myopia is associated with a greater risk of developing several vision-threatening conditions such as glaucoma, cataract, retinal detachment and myopic macular degeneration. The risk for these conditions increases with higher levels of myopia.
Starting Myopia Control can reduce the risks for these conditions.
As myopia continues to rise and is projected to affect 50% of all people by 2050, more people will be affected by eye health complications due to myopia.
When to Start Myopia Control Treatment?
Myopia usually develops in school-age children. Research shows that more children are developing myopia, and at a younger age. This means more time for eye growth, and this increases their likelihood to develop high levels of myopia and higher risk for eye disease.
If your child has myopia already, then starting myopia control as early as possible gives them their best chance of keeping their myopia low to maintain healthier eyes.
Let's take on Myopia together
At Eye & I, we understand that nothing is more important than the health and well-being of your child. We are passionate about children’s vision and that is why we have specialist children-friendly equipment and special services to manage your child’s myopia.
How to Best Monitor Myopia Control Treatments?
In myopia, the shape of the eye has grown too long for its own focussing power.
We can measure the length of your eyeball, what we call the axial length, with our Oculus Myopia Master.
As the level of myopia increases, there is an increase in the length of the eyeball, and it is this growth or ‘stretching’ of the eyeball that is associated with eye disease.
Axial length measurements are the gold standard for monitoring progression of myopia.
When we measure your child’s axial length before myopia control treatment has started, we can combine this with growth charts, much like the growth charts we are familiar with for the height and weight of babies and toddlers. The growth chart allows us to predict your child’s future level of myopia as it is right now.
Once we have started myopia control treatment, further measurements of your child’s axial length allow us to accurately monitor how treatment is changing the growth of the eye. This way we can know that the treatment is working effectively to keep your child’s myopia to a lower level.
In this example, we can see that the axial length of the two eyes (blue and purple lines) are increasing from age 12 to 15, which means that the level of myopia is also increasing. After myopia control treatment has commenced (highlighted green section), we now see that the growth of the eye has slowed and that the new predicted level of future myopia is much lower (scale on the right).
The aim for all myopia control treatments is to keep your axial length low to reduce the risk for eye disease.
By knowing how your child’s axial length is changing, we can make earlier and better decisions to customize their treatment so that your child can maintain their best vision and eye health.
- Whether it be that special look for an occasion, a sporting activity or simply the flexibility, convenience and freedom from glasses, contact lenses can let you be you.
- Good vision is a key factor for living a healthy and happy life. With our strong focus on eye health and vision care services we want to help you maintain your Vision For Life.
- Orthokeratology, or Ortho-K, is a specialist contact lens procedure that allows you to see clearly during the day without vision correction. With Ortho-K, we can design specially made lenses for you to wear at night while you sleep.
- Vision is not just about seeing clearly. It is also about having comfortable, long-lasting and efficient vision. Tired eyes, eyestrain, blurred or double vision, and headaches are all signs that may indicate that your eyes are not working efficiently.
- Much of what a child learns is through their eyes. As important as it is that a child sees well, vision is also about integrating their vision with their other skills.