Myopia progression is one of our main concerns as parents when our child starts showing signs of myopia.
Although some of us may have struggled with myopia when we were young, we worry today that the increased exposure to screen time and lack of outdoor activities may cause our child’s myopia to progress faster than we anticipate.
Here’s what you need to know about childhood myopia and how to curb its progression.
What is myopia? What causes myopia?
Myopia is a condition in which you can see objects near to you clearly, but objects farther away are blurry. Myopia is diagnosed when either eye has a Refractive Error of ≤-0.50D (aka a ‘power’ of 50 degrees or more).
Myopia occurs when the eyeball is too long or the cornea has too much curvature so that light rays entering the eye do not fall nicely on the retina (but converge before reaching the retina).
Graphic: HOYA MiYOSMART
Singapore has one of the highest prevalences of myopia by age, with around six out of ten children having myopia by 10 years of age. By the time our children reach 18 years old, over 90% of them would have myopia!
Myopia, also known as short-sightedness, can be caused by:
- Genetics: If one or both parents have myopia, their children are more likely to have myopia too
- Lifestyle: Myopia is linked to increased use of digital devices, intense schooling and less time spent outdoors (spending less than 1.6 hours a day outdoors increases the risk of myopia by two to three times!)
Childhood myopia progresses the fastest between the ages 5 to 19 when the child’s eyeball grows longer as the child’s body grows. By age 20, myopia progression may probably plateau.
When we were children, the typical techniques to control myopia would be lifestyle changes such as reducing screen time, getting more outdoor activity and resting our eyes regularly by looking at faraway objects.
While all these are still relevant today, technology has improved tremendously since we were kids! Today, several myopia-control technologies are easily available to delay your child’s myopia progression.
What are the types of myopia-control technologies that can help curb my child’s myopia progression?
There are various interventions for myopia control in children, from low risk to high risk:
- Behavioural: more outdoor time, Vitamin D, indoor lighting
- Optical: Ophthalmic lenses (like MiYOSMART D.I.M.S. lenses), Contact lens, Orthokeratology
- Pharmaceutical: Eyedrops (Atropine, Pirenzepine, Cyclopentolate)
- Surgical: (For the treatment of pathological myopia) PSR (posterior scleral reinforcement)
For parents who prefer a non-invasive myopia-control technology (i.e. no surgery, no contact lenses, no eyedrops), MiYOSMART’s D.I.M.S. technology in spectacle lenses is one of the most straightforward choices.
So how does MiYOSMART’s D.I.M.S. technology work?
The beauty of MiYOSMART’s D.I.M.S. technology is that your child doesn’t have to do anything special other than wearing his MiYOSMART spectacles.
It’s that simple.
MiYOSMART lenses are one of the newest optical breakthrough technologies in the market today.
Developed by Japanese med-tech company HOYA and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2011, clinical trials revealed in 2017 that schoolchildren wearing D.I.M.S. lenses had their myopia progression significantly reduced by 59%.
Graphic: Lam CSY, et al. Br J Ophthalmol 2019
In 2018, the D.I.M.S. technology in MiYOSMART lens won the prestigious Grand Prize, Grand Award and Special Gold Medal at the 46th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, Switzerland. MiYOSMART lens was then launched globally in 2019 as the latest product by HOYA.
MiYOSMART D.I.M.S. lenses have a honeycomb structure around the central optical zone that helps correct refractive errors in your child’s growing eyes. For context, in normal spectacle lenses, these refractive errors contribute to your child’s myopia because it makes your child’s eyeballs lengthen to compensate for these errors.
This unique honeycomb structure is neither noticeable to the wearer’s eye, nor to the person looking at the wearer. Besides offering a convenient non-invasive D.I.M.S. technology, MiYOSMART lenses also play the role of an eye shield that is impact-resistant (due to its strong polycarbonate 1.59 material) and provides UV protection for your child’s eyes.
The MiYOSMART lenses come with a coating and are easy to maintain. Just wash with diluted soap, rinse with water and wipe dry with a clean microfibre cloth.
How do I choose the best method to manage myopia?
If you’re looking for a myopia-control technology that does not involve any touching of the eye such as eyedrops, contact lens and surgery, MiYOSMART lenses are effective, safe and easy to use for your child.
There are no side effects for wearing MiYOSMART lenses, hence if you’re already on another myopia-control method like atropine, you may incorporate MiYOSMART lenses by simply replacing your child’s spectacle lenses.
MiYOSMART is suitable for children whose myopia is progressing quickly and if they spend a lot of time studying, reading and using digital devices.
By combining MiYOSMART’s 59% effectiveness in curbing myopia progression with daily habits of spending more time outdoors, taking regular breaks from screen time, going for regular eye checkups and having proper indoor lighting, you are helping to prevent your child’s myopia from increasing rapidly.
As part of HOYA’s assurance programme, the company will provide a pair of HOYA single vision lenses as a backup in case your child needs to replace his or her MiYOSMART lenses due to unforeseen circumstances such as losing or damaging their spectacles.
So, what are you waiting for?
This post is brought to you by HOYA MiYOSMART.
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