What is it?
Myopia, commonly referred to as short-sightedness, is a condition in which the eye focuses light in front of the retina instead of on the retina causing distant objects to appear blurred.
Myopia is classified as a disease, as it associated with increasing the risk of other ocular pathologies. The world council of optometry has recently changed their guidance on the minimum standard of care for people with myopia.
Myopia is becoming more common. By the year 2050, approximately 5 billion people will be myopic. That’s 50% of the expected world population. Almost 1 billion people will have high myopia, which has an increased risk of blindness. The myopia pandemic needs to be addressed due to the economic and social burden on the population.
- Difficulty seeing distant objects clearly
- Accelerated increase in spectacle prescription
Associated risk factors
Odds ratio of developing associated ocular pathology correlated with magnitude of myopia
|Cataract||Retinal detachment||Myopic Maculopathy||Glaucoma|
|-1.00 to -3.00||2.1||3.1||2.2||2.3|
|-3.00 to -5.00||3.1||9||9.7||3.3|
|-5.00 to -7.00||5.5||21.5||40.6||3.3|
- Each additional dioptre of myopia increases the risk of myopic maculopathy by 67%.
- For every diopter of myopia saved, reduces the risk of myopic maculopathy by 40%.
What causes it?
There is no single definitive cause for myopia, although current research has highlighted a number of risk factors.
- Peripheral hyperopic defocus.
- Genetics/ethnicity – East Asians show a higher prevalence of myopia. Having two myopic parents increases the risk of myopia 6 times.
- Environmental factors/education – increased time spent indoors, especially looking at screens and shorter working distances. Not spending enough time outdoors.
- The younger the onset of myopia the increased risk of developing high myopia
How is it treated?
Simply correcting myopia with a pair of spectacles or regular contact lenses is not enough to slow progression. There are a number of different treatments currently available.
- Special defocus spectacle lenses
- Corneal reshaping with OrthoKeratology contact lenses
- Specialty defocus contact lenses and pharmaceutical eye drops.
The best course of treatment will be advised once an assessment has been completed.
What to Expect
The initial consultation involves an in-depth assessment of eye health, lifestyle and habits. Your refractive error will be measured, along with binocular vision function and cycloplegic (pupil dilation) tests. Maps will be taken of your corneal shape and the length of your eyeball (axial length) will be measured. The health of the eyes will also be examined. Depending on the results – the best treatment option will be discussed.
If contact lenses are deemed to be the best option – a fitting appointment will be booked after the initial consultation. At the contact lens fitting appointment, you will be shown how to insert, remove and care for your contact lenses.
Whichever means of correction are employed, routine after care is essential in monitoring progression of myopia. With all the information gathered over time, changes can be made to the treatment plan in order to tailor the treatment, to get the best results. When using contact lenses, regular after care is also important monitor eye health.
Frequently asked questions
Myopia control / OrthoK consultation with Optometrist
An initial consultation is required to determine your suitability for OrthoK lenses
OrthoK contact lens- 1st fitting appointment
The OrthoK lenses ordered after the initial consultation are fitted by an Optometrist- fee includes lens and consultation
OrthoK contact lens - 6 month review appointment and replacement lens
OrthoK lenses require replacement after 6 months so fee includes new lens and review of fit with Optometrist
Book a consultation
Whether you still need more information or you think this is the right treatment for you, request a consultation and we’ll be able to help you from there.