Eyecare for Children

Eye examinations for children under 16 are paid for by the NHS and if any eyewear is
required, then they are also eligible for an optical voucher that can be used to cover the cost
of the eyewear.

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

Being able to see clearly is important for a child’s overall development and learning. Often children don’t realise that there is a problem with their eyesight and that they are not seeing to their fullest potential. If these focussing errors are not detected at an early stage then this can lead to reduced vision in one or both eyes that can then not be corrected with spectacles, contact lenses or eye surgery.

Children do not have to be able to read or talk for us to be able to examine their eyes. We have a range of techniques and equipment we can use to determine if there is a problem or visual difficulty.

Eye examinations for children under 16 are paid for by the NHS and if any eyewear is required, then they are also eligible for an optical voucher that can be used to cover the cost of the eyewear.

Myopia is on the rise

What is Myopia?

Myopia, also known as short-sightedness, is when distant objects such as TV, signs, school board, and faces all appear blurred. This happens due to the eyeball growing longer from front to back. With the eye being longer than normal, light rays focus too early in front of the retina causing distant objects to look blurred and out of focus. The problem is typically noticed first noticed in primary school years and myopia may progress as the eyeball grows longer in length during the child’s growth years.

Myopia is becoming more common around the world and currently, 30% of the world’s population has myopia which is predicted to increase to 50% by 2050 and 10% of the population is expected to have high myopia.

What Causes Myopia?

Myopia usually develops in childhood and is more common in children who have parents with myopia, although this is not always the case. Other factors considered likely to cause myopia are extended periods of close vision tasks including the use of smartphones, tablets and computers, and spending too much time indoors can also contribute.

What Risk Factors Are Associated with Myopia?

Developing myopia will require lifelong eyecare, with regular eye examinations and vision correction needed.
The reason for wanting to reduce or halt the progression of myopia is because those with a high myopic prescription are at greater risk of developing eye conditions such as retinal detachment, myopic maculopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts which can lead to irreversible sight loss.

How is Myopia Corrected?

There is no cure for myopia and so the aim is to reduce or halt the progression of Myopia. With regular eye examinations and the use of specialist myopia management products, we can slow the progression of the condition. These products have undergone extensive trials and results have shown that with consistent use, myopic progression was slowed by up to 60%.

Stellest and MiYOSMART (Spectacle Lenses)

Innovative new lenses are designed with a clear central zone surrounded by an area of treatment zones. These treatment zones are made up of multiple small defocus segments or lenslets, evenly distributed across the lens to create a peripheral retinal defocus. It is this peripheral retinal defocus signal that reduces the eyeball elongation process and thus helps reduce myopic progression. Results of clinical trials showed they slowed the progression of myopia by up to 60%.

These lenses are designed specifically with children in mind as they are made from a lightweight polycarbonate making them durable and impact resistant.

MiSight® Contact Lenses

MiSight® contact lenses are soft, daily contact lenses by CooperVision. These daily disposable contact lenses have a unique ActivControl® technology featuring correction and treatment zones.

The correction zones provide vision correction, while the treatment zones provide myopic defocus to control the axial elongation.
These lenses are advised to be worn for a minimum of 6 days per week and following a 3-year trial are proven to reduce myopia by up to 59%.

How else can you help your child?

Several lifestyle changes that your child can adopt can be beneficial to their eye health:

1. Encourage more outdoor activities and reduce screen time where possible.

2. When reading books or using digital devices we advise holding them more than 30cm away from their eyes.

3. Take regular breaks from near work every 30 minutes where possible.

4. Regular eye examinations are essential for everyone and are key to monitoring the progression of myopia.

If you are interested in finding out more about myopia management for your children or have any questions contact us at Loveday Opticians.