Our history of helping myopia sufferers
In 2009, Rose Optometrists opened the first clinic in New Zealand devoted to managing myopia: a myopia management clinic, or myopia control clinic. Since then, we have used evidence-based methods to slow the progression of short-sightedness in children, work that we believe helps them to have better quality of life as they grow older. The options that we employ within our clinic vary. The most common ones, however, are spectacles (bifocal and progressive designs), contact lenses (bifocal, multifocal and dual focus designs), corneal reshaping lenses (also known as Shift lenses,) or Orthokeratology and drug therapy (Atropine eye drops of varying concentrations).
Myopia and its progression
Myopia is the medical term for what many know as near-sightedness, which is caused by lengthening of the eyeballs. They become misshapen, meaning that light does not focus correctly and anything far away looks blurred. It is the most common visual complaint amongst children and young adults.
It has long been understood that genetics and environment play a significant role in myopia and its progression, but the specific mechanisms of it have been clarified through recent international research. Anyone who is experiencing increased short-sightedness and needing to change prescriptions regularly should be referred on to some kind of myopia control treatment or program. It has been shown that where the light focuses in the periphery (side) of the retina has a strong influence on the progression of myopia, and can cause thinning of the choroid (the part of the retina that contains blood vessels and nourishes the eye to help with sight).
What can be done?
With greater understanding of myopia progression comes options for altering the peripheral focus in an attempt to put on the brakes of the condition. The following three options are the most common treatment methods.
Also called Shift lenses, this treatment method involves individually molded corneal retainer lenses that are worn exclusively during sleep. It is considered a gold standard option for controlling myopia, and has great results.
Soft contact lenses
These disposable soft multifocal contact lenses are a popular option too, but are worn during waking hours. They do not correct myopia like orthokeratology—but they have the ability to reduce progression by 59%.
Designed in Australia, these are specifically aimed at reducing the progression of myopia. They are not as effective as the options above, but have been shown to reduce it by 30% in some groups.
This is another gold standard option, along with orthokeratology (Shift lenses). Atropine is a topical drop that has been shown to be effective at halting myopia from progressing at the normal rate. It does however have side effects which can include blurring of vision, dilated pupils and stinging.
There is currently a growing amount of research testing whether lower concentrations also are effective in controlling myopia. It is best to discuss options with an optometrist.
Get your myopia under control
The options outlined above, brought to you by science and qualified optometry practitioners, can help with short-sightedness that eats away at your functional vision. We would be happy to discuss the pros and cons of each method on an individual basis, as each patient may suit a different option. Book a suitability appointment now on 07 8473195 or online.
All myopia control options carry an associated cost that is higher than standard contact lenses or spectacles. However, we believe it’s worth the expense—as for the greatest benefits, myopia control treatment should be continued until the eye stops growing altogether (often in the early twenties). After that time, myopia control options may no longer be required as the eye naturally stabilises. For more information, take a look at these resources:
- Myopia Prevention by Dr. Richard Anderson
- My Kids’ Vision by Paul and Kate Gifford
- Myopia Care by Nick Dash and Pascal Blaser
- Myopia Control video by Visique Rose Optometrists
Practitioners requiring help
If you are an optometrist, ophthalmologist or specialist with an interest in myopia and would like assistance in the management of your patient, or would like to request time in our clinic, then please feel free to contact us through the general enquiries form.