An optometrist is advocating for myopia management treatments and prevention methods after his son became a myope at the age of seven.
With his child Aryan receiving myopia treatment, Amit Sharma, an optometrist at Davis Optometrists, realises the importance of children having their eyes tested and taking measures to prevent the development of myopia-related eye diseases.
Myopia, also known as short-sightedness, is an extremely common eye condition meaning you cannot see objects which are far away. It usually occurs in school-age children as this is the period during which their eyes grow yet adults can develop myopia due to visual stress or health conditions.
The eye condition is commonly corrected with glasses or contact lenses, however, Amit said: “Traditional methods of vision correction do not halt the progression of myopia.
“Any form of myopia management has the potential to significantly reduce the progression of myopia by up to 60 per cent and, therefore, significantly reduce the risk of myopia-related eye diseases.”
Aryan added: “I really like my new glasses. I especially like the frame because it’s really cool.
“These are special lenses which will help my eyesight stay healthy. They have helped me to see really clearly.”
Amit wants to reinforce the importance of optometrists providing their patients with “an assessment of their vision and eye health” along with advice, especially regarding eye conditions like myopia and their management.
Myopia cases are increasing throughout the world, likely due to the increase of time people, and especially children, are spending inside, looking at books and tablets. These factors heighten the risk of myopia onset and progression.
To reduce the risk of myopia in children, Amit said: “It’s very important that parents get their children’s eyes tested, especially those parents who are short-sighted.
“Parents should encourage their children to spend as much time outdoors as possible, at least 90 minutes a day, and reduce the amount of time that children spend on tablets and reading. The recommendation is that every 20 minutes, you have a break for 20 seconds.”
He added: “If your child does have myopia, then please do discuss with your optometrist about the options available to help with their myopia management.
“By having a form of myopia management in place, you will be able to help reduce the progression of a child’s myopia and help reduce the effects of myopia on the health of their eyes.”