Eyecare for Children

Eye exams for children under 16 are funded by the NHS, and if they need eyewear, they are eligible for an optical voucher that can be used to offset the cost of the glasses.

Myopia Control

Whilst there is no cure for myopia, we have come a long way to understanding how it develops. This has led the way to strategies that help slow the progression significantly.

Eye tests for Children

Clear vision is vital for a child’s overall development and learning. Often, children are unaware of any issues with their eyesight and may not be reaching their full visual potential. If focusing errors go undetected in the early stages, it can result in permanent vision loss in one or both eyes, which cannot be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or surgery.

Assessing a child’s eyes does not require them to read or speak. We employ various techniques and equipment to identify potential problems or visual difficulties.

Eye exams for children under 16 are covered by the NHS, and if corrective eyewear is necessary, they are eligible for an optical voucher that helps with the cost of glasses.

Myopia is on the rise

What is Myopia?

Myopia, or short-sightedness, is a condition where distant objects such as TV screens, signs, school boards, and even faces appear blurry. This occurs when the eyeball elongates from front to back. The increased length of the eye causes light rays to focus in front of the retina instead of directly on it, resulting in blurred and unfocused vision for faraway objects. Typically, this issue is first noticed during the primary school years, and it can worsen as the eye continues to grow in length during the child’s developmental years.

Myopia is increasingly prevalent worldwide. Currently, approximately 30% of the global population has myopia, and it is projected to rise to 50% by 2050. Additionally, it is expected that 10% of the population will develop high myopia.

What Causes Myopia?

Myopia typically emerges during childhood and is more prevalent in children whose parents have myopia, although there are exceptions to this pattern. Other factors that are believed to contribute to the development of myopia include prolonged engagement in close-range visual tasks such as smartphone, tablet, and computer use. Additionally, excessive indoor activities can also be a contributing factor.

What Risk Factors Are Associated with Myopia?

Managing myopia requires ongoing eye care, including regular eye exams and the use of corrective measures. The goal of addressing myopia progression is to minimise or halt its advancement. This is crucial because individuals with a high degree of myopia are at an increased risk of developing eye conditions such as retinal detachment, myopic maculopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts. These conditions can potentially lead to permanent vision loss that cannot be reversed.

How is Myopia Corrected?

While there is currently no cure for myopia, the focus is on reducing or halting its progression. Through regular eye exams and the utilisation of specialised myopia management products, we can effectively slow down the advancement of the condition. These products have undergone rigorous testing, and the results have demonstrated that with consistent use, they can slow myopic progression by up to 60%.

Stellest and MiYOSMART (Spectacle Lenses)

The revolutionary Stellest and Miyosmart lenses feature a transparent central zone encircled by treatment zones. These treatment zones consist of numerous small defocus segments or lenslets, meticulously distributed across the lens surface, resulting in a peripheral retinal defocus effect. By harnessing this peripheral retinal defocus signal, the elongation of the eyeball, which contributes to the progression of myopia, can be effectively reduced. Clinical trials have demonstrated that these lenses can significantly slow down myopia progression, with results showing a reduction of up to 60%.

These lenses are explicitly designed with children in mind, utilising lightweight polycarbonate material to ensure durability and impact resistance, making them ideal for active lifestyles.

MiSight® Contact Lenses

CooperVision’s MiSight® contact lenses are soft, daily disposable lenses. With their exclusive ActivControl® technology, these lenses incorporate both correction and treatment zones.

The correction zones address vision correction needs, while the treatment zones introduce myopic defocus to help manage axial elongation.

For optimal results, it is recommended to wear these lenses at least six days a week. After a comprehensive three-year trial, they have been proven to reduce myopia by up to 59%.

How else can you help your child?

Implementing certain lifestyle changes can significantly contribute to your child’s eye health:

1. Encourage increased participation in outdoor activities and limit screen time whenever feasible.

2. When reading books or using digital devices, encourage them to hold them at a distance of more than 30cm from their eyes.

3. Advise taking regular breaks from near work every 30 minutes, whenever possible.

4. Regular eye exams are crucial for everyone, as they play a vital role in monitoring the progression of myopia.

For more information on myopia management for your children or if you have any inquiries, feel free to contact us at Foster Opticians.