What is progressive myopia?
After 18 months old your eye should only grow longer very, very slowly. If eye growth accelerates then you become increasingly out of focus, known as myopia, or “Short sight” (things up close are clear, far away is blurred).
Who get's this?
From age 6, but usually about 8 to 10, myopia can rapidly occur. Children who have parents with myopia are at risk, and ethnicity is important. Perhaps the biggest factor is time spent outdoors – which protects your child from becoming myopic. So help your kids live a healthy, outdoors lifestyle of activities and sport, which improves lots of aspects of health as well as protecting them from myopia.
Does it help to treat it early?
Definitely – and not just to save money from frequent changes to glasses. If your child’s eyes reach -6 or more they have a high risk of cataract, glaucoma and retinal disease as an adult. These things can be blinding. Treatment to stop the rapid eye growth prevents this.
Organise a test
By measuring the length of a child’s eye we can diagnose the condition and track it’s progress. We can make a basic diagnosis of myopia during the School vision test, but for a diagnosis of progressive myopia you will need to be seen by one of our trained specialists or optometrists. You can email us to arrange this.
Testing for progressive myopia is easy for children, but a complex assessment. We use a laser Optical Biometer to measure the length of the eye. No drops are needed, it is quick and easy for children from age 3. It is also incredibly accurate. Changes in the length of your eye of less than 0.05mm can be assessed.
Pricing*: If either parent has a current Community services card, or your child has their own or a High user card, and is less than 16 years old, then you are eligible for the Enable higher spectacle subsidy. We do not charge these families, and you could have an in-depth assessment by one of our children’s specialists or optometrists.
We also provide a myopia clinic to monitor your child’s progress. Optos Ultra-widefield retinal imaging of each eye is a simple test for any age, and could save a child with myopia from blindness in 1 eye.