Eyecare for Children

Eye examinations for children under 16 are paid for by the NHS and if any eyewear is
required, then they are also eligible for an optical voucher that can be used to cover the cost
of the eyewear.

Myopia Control

Whilst there is no cure for myopia, we have come a long way to understanding how it develops. This has led the way to strategies that help slow the progression significantly.

Eye tests for Children

Clear vision is crucial for a child’s overall development and learning. Often, children are unaware of any issues with their eyesight, unaware that they are not reaching their full visual potential. If focusing errors go undetected during the early stages, it can result in reduced vision in one or both eyes, which cannot be fully corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or eye surgery.

At our centre, we understand that children do not need to be able to read or speak to undergo an eye examination. We employ a range of techniques and specialised equipment to assess if there are any visual difficulties or problems.

It’s important to note that eye examinations for children under the age of 16 are covered by the NHS (National Health Service). Additionally, if eyewear is required, children are eligible for an optical voucher that can be used to help cover the cost of the glasses.

Ensuring optimal vision for children is our priority, and we are committed to providing comprehensive eye care and support to maximise their visual potential, setting them up for success in their learning and overall development.

Myopia is on the rise

What is Myopia?

Myopia, commonly known as short-sightedness, is a condition in which distant objects, such as television screens, signs, school boards, and even faces, appear blurred. This occurs due to the elongation of the eyeball from front to back. When the eye is longer than normal, light rays focus in front of the retina rather than directly on it, resulting in distant objects appearing blurry and out of focus. Typically, this issue is first noticed during the primary school years, and myopia may continue to progress as the eyeball lengthens during a child’s growth years.

The prevalence of myopia is increasing worldwide. Currently, around 30% of the global population is affected by myopia, and it is predicted to rise to 50% by 2050, with approximately 10% of the population developing high myopia.

What Causes Myopia?

Myopia typically manifests during childhood and tends to be more prevalent in children whose parents have myopia, although this is not always the case. In addition to genetic factors, other influences are believed to contribute to the development of myopia. Prolonged engagement in close vision tasks such as smartphone, tablet, and computer use, as well as excessive time spent indoors, are considered likely factors that can contribute to the onset of myopia.

What Risk Factors Are Associated with Myopia?

Individuals who develop myopia require lifelong eye care, including regular eye examinations and the need for vision correction. The motivation behind reducing or halting the progression of myopia lies in the fact that individuals with high myopic prescriptions face an increased risk of developing various eye conditions. These conditions include retinal detachment, myopic maculopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts, which can ultimately result in irreversible vision loss. Therefore, it is crucial to address and manage myopia to mitigate the potential risks associated with these eye conditions.

How is Myopia Corrected?

While there is no known cure for myopia, the focus of treatment is to minimise or prevent its progression. Through regular eye examinations and the utilisation of specialised myopia management products, we can effectively slow down the advancement of the condition. These products have undergone extensive testing and trials, with compelling results demonstrating that consistent usage can reduce myopic progression by up to 60%. Our commitment to providing these advanced solutions allows us to help individuals effectively manage their myopia and maintain better long-term eye health.

Stellest and MiYOSMART (Spectacle Lenses)

At our centre, we are proud to offer Stellest and MiYOSMART spectacle lenses as part of our comprehensive approach to myopia control for children. These innovative lenses feature a unique design that includes a clear central zone surrounded by treatment zones. Within these treatment zones, multiple small defocus segments or lenslets are carefully distributed across the lens, creating a peripheral retinal defocus. This defocus signal plays a critical role in reducing the elongation process of the eyeball, effectively slowing down the progression of myopia. Clinical trials have demonstrated impressive results, showing a reduction in myopic progression by up to 60% with the use of these lenses.

With the well-being of children in mind, Stellest and MiYOSMART lenses are specifically designed to cater to their needs. Made from lightweight polycarbonate material, these lenses are not only durable but also impact-resistant, ensuring they can withstand the active lifestyle of children. We understand the importance of providing comfortable and resilient eyewear for young ones, and these lenses offer an excellent solution for effective myopia control.

MiSight® Contact Lenses

We are pleased to offer MiSight® contact lenses, a specialized product by CooperVision. These soft, daily disposable contact lenses are designed with ActivControl® technology, incorporating both correction and treatment zones.

The correction zones of MiSight® lenses ensure precise vision correction, while the treatment zones deliver myopic defocus, effectively controlling axial elongation. To experience the maximum benefit, we recommend wearing these lenses for at least six days per week.

Extensive trials conducted over a period of three years have demonstrated the efficacy of MiSight® lenses in reducing myopia. In fact, they have been shown to reduce myopia progression by up to 59%. With these lenses, you can trust that your child’s vision is being effectively managed, ensuring their eye health for the future.

How else can you help your child?

Promoting healthy habits for your child’s eyesight is crucial, and here are some lifestyle changes that can make a positive impact

1. Encourage increased outdoor activities and limit screen time as much as possible. Spending time outdoors helps to reduce the risk of myopia development.

2. When reading books or using digital devices, advise your child to hold them at least 30cm away from their eyes. Maintaining a proper reading distance can help alleviate eye strain.

3. Encourage your child to take regular breaks from near work every 30 minutes, if feasible. This allows their eyes to rest and prevents excessive strain on their visual system.

4. Regular eye examinations are essential for everyone, especially for monitoring the progression of myopia. These examinations play a vital role in early detection and effective management of any vision changes.

If you would like to learn more about myopia management for your children or have any questions, we invite you to get in touch with us at Rayleigh Vision Centre. Our dedicated team is here to provide you with the information and support you need to ensure your child’s eye health.