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Andy Sanders

Professional Services Director, Hoya

Parents and guardians should be more aware of the issue of myopia, sometimes called short-sightedness, in children. Understanding the drivers of myopia is important, as is regular eye-testing.


The world is facing an increase of myopia. Between 1960 and 2010, rates of myopia prevalence doubled In the UK — and now figures suggest that by 2050 around 50% of the global population will be myopic.

Increased rates of myopia

We are already seeing increased rates of myopia in children, and for various reasons, including genetics. “If one parent has myopia, a child is three times more likely to develop the condition,” explains Andy Sanders, Professional Services Director at spectacle lens manufacturer, Hoya. “If both parents are affected, a child is between six and seven times more likely to develop myopia.”

There are lifestyle drivers, too. For instance, spending too much time inside is thought to increase the risk of myopia, as is too much close work, such as reading or any activity where the eyes need to focus on a nearby object. “Sensible moderation is recommended with breaks every 30 minutes and more time spent outside,” says Sanders.

Importance of regular testing

Whatever the reasons, myopia in children generally develops between the ages of six and 13 and now affects an estimated 20% of all teenagers. If you suspect your child is struggling with their eyesight, book an eye test with your local eye care professional. It’s recommended that children under 16 have an eye test every year. Under sevens who already have a prescription for either long-sightedness or short-sightedness should have an eye test every six months.

If you suspect your child is struggling with their eyesight, book an eye test with your local eye care professional.

Preventing the progression of myopia

If myopia is diagnosed, spectacles will usually be prescribed, which children should be encouraged to wear. Not doing so could increase myopia progression and lead to other potentially serious sight issues. “As children get older, they have more choices,” says Sanders. “Contact lenses could be an option, for example. Then there are corrective contacts worn overnight to reshape the cornea so that spectacles aren’t needed during the day — an intervention that has been proven to slow down the progression of myopia.”

Treatment options Include corrective spectacle lenses, such as Hoya’s MiYOSMART spectacle lenses, which have been proven to slow down myopia progression on average by around 60%. They are child-friendly, easy to adapt and non-invasive.

Parents and guardians should be aware of this is important issue. “We are on a mission with eye care professionals to curb myopia and promote eye health,” says Sanders. “It’s vital to catch conditions early so that the right treatment can be made available.”

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