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Myopia Awareness Week 22-26 May

Myopia Awareness Week is an initiative from BHVI, an Australian-based non-profit focused on vision research. This year, with the theme “Keep an Eye on Myopia,” there is a special focus on making myopia management an essential part of paediatric eye health to slow the global progression of myopia.

Myopia, or short-sightedness, is a very common eye condition where distant objects appear blurry whilst close objects are clearer.

Myopia is caused by a refractive error. A refractive error occurs when your eye doesn't focus light correctly. If you're short-sighted, it means that the eye focuses light in front of your retina instead of onto it as the eye grows too long (increased axial length). The retina is the surface at the back of your eye that collects light.

Myopia can run in the family but can also occur as a result of environmental factors. It can develop at any age but usually begins in children from the age of 6 to 13. It can get worse until the eyes stop growing, at around twenty years of age.

Patients who are short-sighted have difficulty reading text from a distance. For example, school age children may find it difficult to read the whiteboard at school. Other signs include sitting very close to the tv or computer screen as well as suffering from headaches or rubbing eyes.

Myopia, or short-sightedness, is a global issue. By 2050, it’s predicted that half the world’s population will have myopia. Here in the UK, the prevalence of myopia in children aged between 10-16 years has more than doubled over the last 50 years, and children are becoming myopic at a younger age.

If your child has myopia, there are now several clinically proven options available that can slow the rate of progression. If left untreated, myopia progression results in children needing thicker lenses for their spectacles and there is a risk of eye health issues such as retinal detachment and myopic macular degeneration arising in the future.

Following an in-depth eye examination, one of our expert optometrists will advise on the best course of treatment going forward. To book an appointment, just click here.