Myopia is not just about a pair of glasses. Once myopia in children and teenagers onsets, it typically progresses or worsens every few months until the late teenage or early adulthood years.
Myopia progression brings with it:
- Increasingly blurred vision
- The need for frequent changes in spectacle or contact lens prescription
- Increased risk of eye diseases and vision problems over a person’s lifetime
‘Myopia control’ has become the increasingly adopted term to describe the use of treatments aimed to slow progression of myopia. These treatments include special types of spectacle lenses (glasses), soft contact lenses, ortho-k and atropine eye drops. Myopia control is particularly important for children, because this is the stage in life when myopia is most likely to progress or worsen quickly.
Around half of teenagers reach stability of their myopia progression around age 16 but this leave 50% who are still progressing. Ideally myopia control treatment should continue into early adulthood but we look at this on an individual basis.
Young adults can also suffer myopia progression, albeit at a slower rate than children and teenagers. Recent data indicates that young adults can also newly experience myopia in their 20s, even after a childhood of normal vision. It is also important to discuss other lifestyle and environmental factors which can trigger myopia progression, and also managing continued eye health.