What is myopia?
Myopia, known by many as short sightedness, is simply a condition where the eye is a little longer than average, this means light entering the eye isn't focussed properly. It is common throughout the world and this simple focussing problem is easily corrected with glasses or contact lenses.
The more short sighted you are, the closer you need to hold things to see them clearly. Even mild myopia will mean wearing glasses or contact lenses for any distance task e.g. cinema or driving and even to see the TV clearly. Reading a book will be easy without help but with severe myopia, you might need to hold things uncomfortably close to see them well.
Why is myopia in children a problem?
It is known that as we grow, any myopia is almost guaranteed to increase (as we grow, our eyes grow). If a child grows up with mild myopia, apart from the need for optical correction, life will still be unaffected but if we see a young child already developing myopia we know that they will very likely go on to be severely short sighted as an adult.
We can reasonably predict from an early age what the likely prescription will be for any given child particularly if their parents have significant levels of myopia.
In the past, even with this knowledge, all we could do was correct the prescription with normal glasses or contact lenses. This resulted in a prescription increase every 6 -12 months until the eyes stopped growing in adulthood (and sometimes later). We had no means of improving the size of the final adult prescription!
So you can see that with a very high myopic prescription, your vision without eyewear becomes far more serious to your everyday life. In addition to this, people with high myopic prescriptions are far more likely to develop potentially sight limiting conditions such as retinal tears or detachments and increased risk of glaucoma in later life.
So what do the numbers on my prescription mean?
The first number in a prescription (sphere or sph) indicates whether you are short or long sighted (- or + respectively) and by how much.
Average short sighted prescriptions in the UK are around -3.00D. If this is you, you can probably see clearly out to about 30 - 50 centimetres and then the world gets blurrier the further away it gets! Most people with this prescription can manage to function within their own home without their glasses although they would definitely prefer to have them on. You may even manage to get to a bus stop safely but wouldn't see the bus numbers as they approached and certainly would find crossing the road safely as a big challenge.
Once you get above -5.00 or -6.00, you are really struggling to carry out any function without your eyewear. And if you are close to or above -10.00 you wouldn't even see the bus coming without eyewear, let alone get to the bus stop.
What if we could reduce the prescription increase in children?
We have been fitting myopia management contact lenses to children for well over 15 years now and using these specialist lenses we could reduce the final 'adult' prescription by 50-60%. Unfortunately, only a limited number of children could be fitted with these. A child who we know because of their early myopia and family history would end up with a final prescription of -7.50 could be kept as low as -3.00!
That was great news but now at last, a similar technology has been introduced into a spectacle lens - MiYOSMART.
Robert Stanley Opticians & Audiologists are amongst the first companies in the UK to be accredited to dispense this exciting new lens. Our team of Vision Experts have gone through an intensive training programme to understand the science behind MiYOSMART and fit them correctly to optimise the benefit to your child.
MiYOSMART is an international award winning spectacle lens that is designed to slow the development of myopia in children as they grow.
If you have a young myopic child and / or there is a family history of significant myopia, get in touch with our team today to see is MiYOSMART could be helpful.
Initially we are offering this new spectacle lens in our Abingdon branch where branch manager, Emily Macdonald and her team have been accredited to help advise you.
Give them a call to find out more;
Or drop Emily an email on firstname.lastname@example.org