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Comparing myopia management options

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Author: Jason Higginbotham
BSc (Hons) MCOptom Prof Cert Glau Prof Cert Med Ret Prof Cert LV FBDO MBCLA

Which myopia management option is best for my child?

The best myopia control option can vary depending on several factors, including the age of the individual, the progression of myopia, any underlying eye conditions and lifestyle factors. It's important to consult with an eye care professional who can evaluate your specific situation and provide personalised recommendations. 


Specialist Glasses



  • Wide prescription range can be treated

  • Range of frame styles available 

  • Safe, with minimal risks of eye infections or complications.


  • More expensive than standard glasses due to their advanced features and technologies.

  • Wearing glasses can sometimes pose challenges during certain physical activities or sports.

Day Contact Lenses



  • Contact lenses are easily embraced by children and they quickly adjust to wearing them.

  • There is no requirement to invest in extra equipment.

  • ​A broad range of prescriptions can be effectively addressed.


  • Ongoing cost for patient

  • Infection risk

  • Ghosting can occur when the pupil is larger (or more dilated) than the optical area

Red Light Therapy



  • A non-invasive treatment option

  • Generally considered safe, with minimal side effects.

  • Few studies on effectiveness, the results have been promising.


  • Not equally effective for all

  • Research on effectiveness is still in the early stages and limited

  • No consensus on the optimal dosage, duration, frequency.

  • Devices are costly

  • Limited access to professional-grade equipment 



  • Parents can monitor and control the handling of lenses, reducing the risk of eye infections.

  • Lenses offer convenience and freedom from wearing corrective eyewear throughout the day.

  • Children may be more likely to spend time outdoors and engage more in outdoor pursuits and sports.


  • An adaptation period may be needed

  • Can initially cause discomfort or dryness

  • Strict wearing schedule required

  • Expensive

  • Additional equipment and training required

  • Only effective over a narrow prescription range

Atropine Eye Drops

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  • Easy to administer and requires minimal effort

  • Applicators are available to make putting in drops much easier

  • Low-concentration atropine eye drops have shown minimal side effects


  • Limited optometrists can administer atropine drops in the UK.

  • Cause pupil dilation causes light sensitivity and reduced near focus.

  • Temporary myopia progression increase after stopping atropine.

  • Long-term safety of atropine is still being studied.

  • Varying response to atropine among individuals.

Combination Therapies


  • Combining treatment modalities can improve effectiveness

  • Synergistic effects can result from the combination of specific treatment methods

  • Tailoring treatment approaches to individual patients' needs

  • Comprehensive management approach by addressing multiple factors simultaneously


  • Multiple treatment modalities can make the management process more complex

  • Higher costs 

  • Potential side effects and risks

  • Limited evidence available on efficiency and safety

Myopia is one of the most prevalent eye conditions in the world, affecting nearly 2.6 billion people globally. Unfortunately, myopia is often seen as a benign condition, and many people are unaware of its long-term consequences, such as an increased risk of developing serious eye diseases later in life. Thus, it is critical that we increase awareness of myopia management strategies to help prevent or slow its progression and reduce the risk of visual impairment.

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Mark Bullimore

Internationally renowned scientist, speaker, and educator


Managing Myopia: Evolution of a New Standard of Care


Smartphone addiction and myopia

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