Singapore has one of the highest prevalence of myopia in the world. So,
What exactly is Myopia?
Myopia has been an ongoing concern in Singapore where 70% of Singaporean teenagers between the ages of 11 and 18 are myopic.
Childhood myopia is not uncommon in Singapore, 65% of our Primary 6 children have myopia, whereas at that same age, just 12 percent of children in Australia and about 30 percent in the UK are myopic.
Myopia or shortsightedness is a condition caused by elongation of the eye, causing light to fall in front of the retina instead of on the retina.
This causes distant objects to be blurry, however near vision will be perfectly fine.
Certain signs and symptoms of myopia include squinting, eye strain and headache.
Myopia typically begins in childhood, the risk of having myopia increases if both parents are myopic as well.
Treatment for Myopia?
There is no cure for myopia, the best way is to prevent or slow down the progression of myopia. Myopia can be corrected by glasses, contact lenses and refractive surgeries.
Depending on the extent of your myopia, you may need to wear the glasses full time or part time. The essential part for myopia prevention is to delay onset of myopia in children by advocating good eye care habits.
Near work should be accompanied by visual breaks every 30 mins, adopt good posture by sitting upright instead of lying down when reading and good lighting is essential as well. Outdoor activities are encouraged for children as research have found that exposure to sunlight can help to delay myopia onset.
Lenses such as Myopilux and Myovision are myopia control lenses with a gradient of increasing power from top to bottom to accommodate the wearer’s vision at all distances – far, intermediate and near.
Myopilux Max is a bifocal lens where the top is for distance and bottom for near, an additional prism is added to reduce eye strain for children when they do near work.
Orthokeratology lenses are hard lenses used to correct your vision while you sleep. These lenses are custom made to your cornea shape, the hard lenses temporarily flattens your cornea overnight, to allow for clear vision in the day without any corrective lenses.
Other than lens-free vision in the day, orthokeratology lenses are used to slow down myopia progression as well.
Atropine drops are eye drops that helps to retard myopia progression, at only 0.01% concentration, it is proved to be effective in slowing down myopia progression by almost 50% without any side effects.
By cultivating good eye care habits since young, it will help to slow down the progression of myopia and prevent future complications with high myopia.
Visit your optician/optometrist for a routine eye examination, children with myopia should be followed up every 6 months to monitor their myopia progression.