By 2050 half the worlds’ population will be myopic (short sighted). Increased myopia not only causes blurry distance vision, it causes numerous retinal problems which lead to serious eye health issues. We follow a protocol developed by the Brian Holden Vision Institute to control this rising statistic; drawing together research from all across the globe, this protocol uses the latest science to provide better outcomes for myopic children and adults.
Our standard of care for myopia at our practices aims to prevent the progression, and in some cases, improve the sight of our myopic patients. Although we do not have a 100% cure, we do have strategies that can delay or reduce myopia meaning the life time consequence of the condition will be reduced.
Our protocol provides a number of steps:
- Identifying ‘Pre-Myopes’ – These are the individuals whose characteristics means we expect them to become myopic in the future. With 3-4 out of 10 children in Australia expected to become myopic, while predicting who may follow this pathway is difficult it is very important.
- Lifestyle Factors – ‘All things in moderation’ is a good rule of thumb; too much screen time, including use of computers, tablets and smart phones is causing problems. Taking frequent breaks from continuous screen/near work and having the recommended minimum requirement of 90 minutes a day outside will significantly reduce myopia.
- Binocular Vision Problems – Assessing the efficiency of the focusing system, and modifying this with the use of glasses, contact lenses and/or vision training to minimise any underlying causes of eye strain.
- Strategies to Reduce the Progression of Myopia – This involves the use of specific spectacle lenses, contact lenses, ortho-keratology and low dose atropine to support the near visual system to ultimately reduce the progression of myopia. This is where access to the Myopia Protocols enable us to employ the best strategies for each individual.
There is no one treatment that is suitable for every situation. The right combinations need to be selected and tailored to each individual depending on their lifestyle and demands on their visual system. The treatments also need to be monitored: controlling myopia is a journey and the best suited strategies will change with an individuals lifestyle.
These strategies are not widely adopted in the optometric community; in this regard we feel we are best placed to provide a more effective strategy for managing our myopic patients vision and the health of their eyes into the future.