The impact of myopia: An increasing global issue

It is estimated that half the world’s population will be myopic by 2050. Growing levels of high myopia increase the risks of serious eye conditions, which may lead to blindness.

What is Myopia?

You may have heard of the word myopia – most of us know it as being ‘Short-sighted’. Myopia is a problem with the focusing ability of the eye. It is when the eye is not able to focus properly on objects in the distance. This condition is very common and it often occurs with many members of the same family. However, in some cases, myopia is also caused by a change in the cornea or the lens. Due to these problems, the light rays entering the eye focus in front of the retina instead focusing directly on it.

How is myopia diagnosed and what are the symptoms?

Myopia can be diagnosed as part of a comprehensive eye health examination here at John Rose Eye Care, Kingston upon Thames, It is important to have regular check-ups from an early age. Blurred vision is often the initial symptom of Myopia. When looking in the distance objects might appear out of focus. You may find yourself squinting and frowning while looking at distant images and objects. You may also experience headaches and be unable to read books, newspaper or digital devices properly without holding them too close to your eyes.

Is myopia being underestimated in terms of its ability to cause deterioration to eyesight?

The reason you should be concerned about your child having or developing myopia is that it puts them at a greater risk of developing future eye health issues. If left untreated, myopia or short-sightedness is known to progress and worsen over time as the eye continues to grow.

Opticians are also seeing a marked increase in children with eye strain and visual stress from too much screen time. Clearly, something is going on but the scientists can’t agree yet on exactly what it is. So, as you send your children back to school or college this month, for even more time with screens and books, we remind you to book your annual eye examination. At John Rose Eye Care we are open 7 days a week.

Myopia has two clinical designations, one being a rarer and more pathological version with worse prognosis (outcomes). Luckily the more common type of myopia is milder and referred to as ‘school-age myopia’ due to its characteristics of emergence in the young and progressing until stabilisation around age 20.

Can the progression of myopia be slowed down?

Glasses are excellent at correcting the distance vision, however, they have little or no effect on slowing down the progression of myopia. For instance, you may already have noticed frequent prescription changes.Treated early, myopia progression can be slowed down using dailies, 2 –weekly or overnight contact lenses – proven to reduce the rate of myopia progression in children as young as eight years. A three year study shows new contact lens therapy slows down myopia progression in children by 59%.

Spending time outdoors — especially in early childhood — can slow the progression of myopia. It remains unclear whether the rise in short-sightedness is due to focusing on digital devices all the time, or to light interacting with our circadian rhythms to influence eye growth, or none of the above. However, contact lenses are not a replacement for sunglasses as they protect the front, not the back of the eye.

Myopia Control treatment at John Rose Eye Care starts with an initial 4D HD Eye Health Examination and contact lens examination; fitting, teaching sessions and after care at £265. You can book an appointment online at or by calling 02085469292 Myopia control Kingston upon Thames.

John Rose Eye Care
1 Eden Street
Kingston Upon Thames
KT1 1BQ 02085469292