In 2019, this teenager (now 16 years old) was identified as a fast progressing myopia patient. We suggested myopia management to their parents to potentially slow down its likely advancement and they decided to start his myopia control treatment using speciality spectacles lenses.
What made this situation concerning?
The issue here lies in the fact that a higher prescription level is more than just a mere inconvenience of impaired vision without corrective lenses. All cases of myopia, particularly those at higher levels, are associated with a heightened risk of developing serious eye conditions later in life, such as glaucoma, retinal detachment, myopic macular degeneration, and cataracts. In fact, each increase in myopia by one dioptre escalates the risk of myopic macular degeneration by 67%.
Our goal with myopia management is to decelerate the progression of myopia in children and young adults. This is achieved through lifestyle modifications, utilizing specialized contact lenses, and opting for custom-designed spectacle lenses. While complete cessation of myopia progression is unlikely, these measures can significantly reduce its pace.
So when this teenager myopia increased drastically in 2019, we suggested to his parents to start his myopia control treatment using speciality spectacles lenses. Whilst the glasses look exactly as they would with standard lenses, these lenses slow the progression of myopia by up to 60%. The statistics on the glasses lenses were strong, so we were keen to see the results for ourselves with our own patients.
The positive outcomes
The results have been encouraging. After nearly tree years of monitoring, Our young patient’s myopic progression has substantially slowed. Measurements of his eyes’ axial length, a key indicator of myopia progression, have shown stability, indicating the effectiveness of the prescribed eyewear.
If myopia is left unmanaged, it typically worsens, potentially leading to a medium to high prescription level (-4 to -8) by adulthood.
As expected, the family is extremely pleased with the outcome. With this case, the opportunity to lessen the rate of myopia in their children is a significant relief, something they hadn’t thought feasible. Unlike the past, particularly in the 80s and 90s when myopia was often left to progress unchecked, today, we have various options available, including soft lenses, overnight lenses, and specially designed spectacles, offering a chance to alter this trend.