Myopia, or short-sightedness – where distant objects appear blurred, can develop from 8 yrs of age and typically progresses throughout adolescence. This happens when the eyeball grows too long and the risk is greatest when one, and especially both parents are also myopic. Specs can correct, but can’t control myopic progression, and not wearing specs can actually accelerate the advancement of myopia – a surprising and unexpected result of research conducted in the 1980’s.
The higher the myopia the stronger and thicker the specs lenses will be, and the longer length of the eye increases the chance of developing related problems in later life such as retinal detachment, glaucoma, and myopic macular degeneration.
Myopia Management aims to slow down the progression of myopia in children while it is still possible to influence the final outcome. It has been proven to work well in a significant percentage of cases, and although not completely halting myopic progression, for the majority, it will slow it down, so that by adulthood, the eyes are a more normal healthy size.
Myopia control works by tricking the eye and brain by using specially designed contact lenses. The two main ways of achieving the effect are Ortho-k lenses (worn during the night only) and Multifocal soft contact lenses, worn during the day.