Address: 336 London Road, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, SS0 7JJ. Tel: 01702 346828
Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 9.00am to 5.30pm. [Closed for lunch 1.30pm to 2.30pm.] Saturday 9.00am to 2.00pm.
Is your child short sighted?
It is now possible to reduce the progress of your child's myopia, or short sightedness, by an average of fifty percent with the regular use of specialised contact lenses.
Myopia results not just in blurred vision, but also increases the risk in later life of many serious eye conditions, including retinal detachment, glaucoma and cataract. The most common cause of myopia is a lengthening of the eyeball during the early growth years, resulting in light being focussed in front, or short, of the retina. Apart from the adverse health aspects, there are also cosmetic considerations with high myopic prescriptions resulting in thick spectacle lenses which make the eyes look smaller.
Myopia is now a worldwide epidemic, with recent data reporting that around half of young adults in Europe and America and up to 90% of Chinese teenagers are short sighted. The rate of increase in the prevalence of the condition has increased rapidly in the last fifty years.
The causes of this increase are not fully understood but, in addition to some hereditary influences, two factors have now been conclusively shown to have a major role in the rapidly increasing development of myopia in children and teenagers.
Firstly, children who spend more time outdoors have been shown to develop myopia far more slowly than those who are inside, even if they do the same amount of close work. The reasons for this are still not fully understood, but it seems likely to be a combination of looking into the distance more and the violet part of natural sunlight that is missing from artificial lighting indoors. The simplest way to help your child's vision is to ensure that they are outdoors as much as possible. An hour and a half per day has been recommended as the minimum to aim for. Limiting the amount of close work and having regular breaks is also thought to be beneficial.
The second factor is that, with spectacle lenses, light in the periphery of the eye is focussed behind the retina, which stimulates the eyeball to grow longer to try to get it in focus. This increase in the length of the eye then causes the central focus to become blurred, which requires a stronger prescription. This stronger prescription then defocusses the peripheral image again and the cycle repeats.
At our practice in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex we use a specially designed type of soft multifocal contact lens to break the cycle by refocussing the peripheral light rays in front of the retina, thereby taking away the stimulus for the eye to grow longer.
The treatment is best started as soon as any myopia starts to develop and children of any age can be fitted, as long as they are able and willing to handle the lenses. It is also possible to train parents to insert and remove the lenses for the child.
For further information, or to book a consultation, please contact us on 01702 346828 or email us via the link on the header above.