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Should I be worried about my Child's High Myopia?

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

It would be easy to just say ‘Yes’ to this common question, but it’s important to add some greater context. It’s certainly true that high (axial) myopia increases your child’s risk of sight impairment in later life, even with their glasses or contact lenses. This is because of the potential damage caused by complications that are more likely in those people with high myopia.

The risks are increased based on the amount of axial myopia - ultimately, how long the eyeball has grown.

It is possible to have a high myopic prescription and not have a very long axial length and, sometimes, it’s possible to have a long axial length and yet only a moderate myopic prescription. This has led to the consensus that Axial Length (AXL) is the primary method of diagnosing and monitoring myopia.

Now time for some good news; there is a lot that can be done to slow the rate and amount of progression of myopia. The key is starting as early as possible, so take your child along to the optometrist or eye care specialist right away.

A thorough myopic assessment may include the following:

  • Full history and symptoms, including a questionnaire about the child’s eye health (and family’s eye health), lifestyle (time spent outdoors, time spent on smartphones and computers, etc), ethnicity and more besides.

  • Cycloplegic refraction (where drops are used to relax the eyes focussing power) to get a full and accurate measure of their spectacle prescription (refraction).

  • Keratometry – measuring the curvature of the cornea (the front surface of the eye).

  • Biometry – using light to accurately measure the axial length of the eye.

If you're a parent whose child has been diagnosed with myopia, or if they are struggling with their distance vision, we hope you found MyopiaFocus helpful. Please join our community or sign our petition to get the government and NHS to recognise myopia as an ocular disease/serious ocular condition and fund myopia management for children.

Disclaimer: This information does not constitute medical advice and it should not be relied upon as such. Consulting an eye care professional is always advised.

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