What are the risk factors for myopia?
If one or both parents are myopic, then this increases the risk of a child being myopic. For example, in one study children with two myopic parents were six times more likely to become myopic than children when neither parent is myopic.
Interest in this topic has been increased with the publication of some research studies indicating that children who spend a few hours a day outdoors are less likely to become myopic. A recent analysis suggests that for each additional hour spent outdoors on average per week, the change in myopia reduces by approximately 2%. Interestingly, this may be more related to light levels than focusing in the distance.What are the risk factors for myopia?
How can we reduce myopia progression?
Recent research has improved our understanding of myopia (short-sightedness), and led to contact lens based interventions for slowing myopia progression. It is believed that the peripheral retina is the most important part of the eye in driving the eye to become more myopic. Standard contact lenses focus the centre and periphery of the eye equally, but by fitting special contact lenses, which affect the peripheral vision differently from the central vision, we can reduce the rate of myopia progression by up to 50%.
It is also possible to slow myopia progression with spectacles. This requires us to fit the child with bifocal or varifocal lenses, which children have a tendency to adapt to very quickly and easily. If children have a condition called “near esophoria”, combined with myopia, then fitting bifocals or varifocals can reduce myopia progression by between 20% and 46%. Andrew and Rogers Optometrists have special tests to ascertain if near esophoria is present.
Please call Andrew and Rogers Optometrists if you are concerned about myopia progressing, or if you would like to discuss the subject further.