Myopia Awareness Week is May 23rd to 28th!
An initiative started in 2018 by the Brien Holden Vision Institute (BHVI), it’s aim is to bring attention to the growing epidemic of myopia in children across the world. Watch our Instagram and Facebook posts this week to “MAKE YOUR EYE MOVES”
Myopia, also known as shortsightedness, is among the most common ocular disorders worldwide and is a leading cause of visual impairment in children. It is predicted that myopia prevalence will rise from 28% of the worlds population to HALF! That’s 5 BILLION people by 2050. Myopia can develop from early childhood and continue to progress into adulthood. It can be easily detected by a routine eye examination.
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly raised the stakes with evidence from across the globe finding that the lockdowns have resulted in a spike in prevalence, incidence and progression of myopia. The burden of myopia has increased substantially. Using the theme of “Make your Eye Moves” BHVI, along with its many valued supporters, aim to increase awareness of myopia.
Creating change starts with a voice – a collective voice of eye care professionals and industry partners, raising awareness and getting
parents and children into clinics for informed discussions about myopia. Myopia is sharply rising in prevalence world-wide. In many East Asian countries, one in two children aged 10 years and above is myopic. Uncorrected myopia is a leading cause of avoidable vision impairment and, whether corrected or uncorrected, has an influence on the quality of life, health and social domains of the individual. Higher levels of myopia significantly increase the risk of developing sight-threatening complications.
What can you do as a parent?
Whether corrected or uncorrected, myopia has an influence on the quality of life and social domains of a young person – like performing poorly in school. Here’s how you can help your child’s eye health:
– Stay informed: Book an eye examination for your child with an eye care professional before they commence schooling and at regular intervals thereafter.
– Take time out: get your child to take breaks from near based tasks like playing video games, and get them to look or get outside…
– Get outdoors: get your child to skip, hop & move outdoors as a daily routine. Short walks, looking outside the window, anything that stretches the vision into the distance to help reduce #myopia risk.
If your child is already myopic, talk to one of our Optometrists about how you can slow progression and get a myopia management program.
What can be done to slow myopia?
Traditional corrective lenses (spectacles and contact lenses) help restore clear vision at distance, but do not control the progression of myopia. The intent of myopia management is to slow or stop lengthening of the eyeball through specially designed spectacle and contact lenses that reduce or modulate defocus (blur) at the periphery of the eye or with drug therapy. Additionally, improved time outdoors was shown to be effective in reducing the onset of myopia.
Interested in learning more? Head to our page Myopia Management.