Childhood Myopia

Is your child myopic?

If your child can see near objects clearly but distant objects appear blurry, he/she is most likely to be myopic or short-sighted. Myopia occurs when the light rays entering the eye focus in front of the retina rather than on it. Myopia mostly occurs due to excessive elongation of the eye globe (axial elongation) in relation to the curvature of the cornea.

 

 

View this animation  

 

Who are at risk of myopia?

The actual cause of myopia is not clearly known. However, genetic as well as environmental factors play a part in the development of myopia. For example, the risk of a person developing myopia is higher if one or both parents have myopia while excessive near work such as reading and watching TV may also contribute to the development of myopia.

Myopia usually develops in children of school-going age and continues to worsen until they reach their early 20s, after which the condition usually stabilises.

Singapore has the highest prevalence of myopia worldwide. 20% of Singapore children are myopic by the time they start their primary education at age 7 and this prevalence increases to more than 80% upon completion of their college education.

Myopia is among Singapore's top 5 national health concerns together with diabetes and cancer. As a further proof to how concerned we are of this condition in Singapore, there is even a national program that focuses on for early detection and slowing down of progression of myopia as well as public education on myopia.  

Why Control Myopia?

Myopia is not just about wearing glasses. As myopia increases, the risk of developing other sight-threatening eye conditions increases too. Therefore, by reducing the level of myopia, we hope to reduce the risks of your child developing these conditions:

Retinal DetachmentGlaucomaCataractsMacular Degeneration
In myopia, the eyeball is elongated longer than usual and this stretches the retina. As the retina thins, it may tear, and in more serious cases, detachment of the retina may occur. This is a medical emergency as this condition can lead to blindness if not promptly treated.
Eye pressure in our eye keeps the shape of the eye. However, severe myopia may cause a rise in eye pressure that when left untreated, can lead to significant loss of vision.
High myopia increases the chance of developing cataracts earlier in life. Cataract reduces vision with the clouding of the natural crystalline lens in the eye.
Macula is the most visually important part of the retina that is responsible for sharp central vision. High myopia may put your child at higher risk of developing macular degeneration, a condition that impairs the central vision.

How do we control myopia?

- Orthokeratology contact lenses

- Atropine 0.01% eye drops

- Special Spectacle lenses

Additionally, it has been found that spending 1 hour a day in the sun can help reduce the progression of the near-sightedness.

 

Last modified on Monday, 21 November 2016 16:14

GOOD NEWS!

Our centre is also one of the healthcare institutions registered with the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) under the Baby Bonus Scheme.  This means that your savings in the Child Development Account (CDA) may be used to pay for your children's eye check and myopia control program (orthokeratology contact lenses/Atropine Eye drops/Special Spectacle Lenses)!

Myopia Control Screening

Our next talk