Short sightedness is one of the most common eye conditions. So what is it and what happens if you get it?

Myopia or short-sightedness is when objects in the distance appear blurred. This is usually because the eye becomes too long and light is focused in front of the retina. Very myopic eyes are at greater risk of developing serious eye conditions such as retinal detachment and glaucoma.

You are more likely to develop short-sightedness if your parents are myopic. Myopia is increasing worldwide and it is increasing at a rate which cannot be explained by genetics alone.

Myopia Prevention

Recent studies have shown that more time spent outdoors in childhood helps prevent myopia. Unfortunately once a child is myopic the amount of time spent outdoors has no effect on the progression of their short-sightedness. It has also been shown that reading a lot or using computers will not make your children short-sighted.

Myopia Control

There is currently no cure for short-sightedness. The aim of myopia control is to slow the progression of myopia by preventing the eye from elongating. Research has shown that the light going to the periphery of the retina is responsible for eye growth.

Two specific types of contact lenses have been shown to change the way that light reaches the peripheral retina and can slow down myopia progression. Whilst not effective in all children, these lenses have been shown to reduce the rate of myopia by up to 50% in the majority.

Soft Lenses for Myopia Control

Most suitable for low levels of short sightedness, i.e. up to -3.00 dioptres this type of contact lens is worn during the day and taken out before sleeping.

Eyedream Overnight Vision Correction

Suitable for myopia up to -5 dioptres, this type of rigid gas permeable contact lens is worn overnight to gently reshape the front of the eye. The lenses are removed in the morning to give good vision, whilst reducing myopic progression. To find out more please download our myopia control factsheet here.

Eyedream is also an excellent alternative to laser eye correction allowing clear vision without spectacles or contact lenses during the day. To find out more please download our overnight vision correction factsheet here.

What is orthokeratology? By Prof Helen Swarbrick

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