How to Treat and Prevent Myopia

Prevention methods

Regular trips to your opticians can help catch early signs of myopia before it has the chance to fully develop. Catching Myopia early can help slow onset and progression. Parents should consider limiting the amount of time spent on computers, phones and tablets. Too much screen time is linked to Myopia so parents should encourage breaks every 20 minutes. During these breaks, the child should look at something for 20 seconds, at approximately 20 feet away.

Another way to decrease the chance of your child developing Myopia is to encourage outdoor play. Exposure to outdoor light is beneficial in slowing the progression of Myopia. Ensure that your child is protected from UV by making sure that they wear sunglasses. It is recommended that children spend a minimum of 2 hours outdoors every day. An easy way to remember this is the 20:20:20:2 rule: For every 20 minutes of reading look into the horizon (20 feet away) for 20 seconds and spend a minimum of 2 hours outdoors.

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Treatment for children who are already myopic

There are numerous treatments for Myopic children that will be discussed between you and your consultant. Parents can consider:

Lifestyle changes

There is evidence that children who spend significant time outdoors have significantly less myopia than those children who spend their day indoors. The distribution of levels of illumination around the eye might be one of the triggers that cause myopia. They should spend a minimum of two hours outdoors in daylight, every day.

Atropine Drops

Recent clinical trials demonstrated low-dose atropine eye drops such as 0.01% resulted in the slowing of myopia progression, with significantly fewer side effects compared to higher concentration preparation. We do not fully understand the exact mechanisms of how this works. However, the efficacy of this measure is very well established. The safety profile of the dosage and administration is very acceptable. So far there have been no reports of significant side effects of low dose atropine treatment in myopic children.

Contact Lenses

We now have special contact lenses specifically designed and proven to slow down the rate of progression of myopia in children. The special feature of these lenses is how they focus and redistribute light around the edges of the retina. This results in a more natural distribution of the levels of illumination in the retina. Researchers believe that one of the reasons the eye elongates is the uneven distribution of light in the retina. These contact lenses attempt to restore that distribution to a more natural one.

If you believe your child may have Myopia or has already been diagnosed, My iClinic can help. Now available is our myopia control clinic. This is a chance for you and your child to sit down with our Consultant Ophthalmologists and discuss how to stop the progression of Myopia.

About the experts

Ms Bola Odufuwa | Consultant Ophthalmologist / Clinic Director

MBBS DO FRCS (Ed) FRCOphth MSc

Bola Odufuwa is a consultant ophthalmologist at The Royal Free Hospital and My-iClinic. She specialises in cataract, glaucoma, paediatric, and laser refractive surgery, and has had extensive training at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, where she gained expertise in the management of various eye conditions.

Odufuwa is a well-renowned activist and leader in ophthalmic care and gives lectures to optometrists and ophthalmologists around the globe. She is also regularly involved in the training of junior doctors and medical students.

Bola Odufuwa’s special interests include optimal refractive outcomes following cataract surgery, non-penetrating glaucoma surgery, and assessment eyesight in children with special needs: particularly dyslexia and autism.