Focused on preventative eye health and wellness, optometrist Andrew Bowden was frustrated that vision care for myopia had not changed for hundreds of years: check eyes every year or two and make stronger glasses or contact lenses if your eyes get worse.
In his twenty years in practice, he has seen certain patients that were more susceptible to worsening vision and certain signs that would help indicate who they might be. He was also alarmed by ongoing research that showed myopia increasing. Less outdoor time and close work, especially on computer screens, phones and tablets, was contributing to this.
Most eye care professionals approach myopia the same: make stronger glasses.
Envision Optical is dedicated to the concept of assessing the risk and lifestyle factors contributing to your myopia and seeking preventative approaches to minimise future disease and symptoms.
Proven treatment approaches exist that can reduce the rate of progression by up to 80 per cent, and in individual cases, halt the condition's progression. At Envision Optical, we offer a comprehensive suite of myopia control treatment options and ongoing management and monitoring to maximise your treatment success. Stronger glasses are NOT the solution.
We use the scientifically proven testing protocols and treatment programs used by the world’s leading myopia control scientists and treatment centres.
What Is Myopia?
Myopia is the vision condition known as short-sightedness or near-sightedness, meaning you can easily focus on near work, like reading or seeing your phone, while distance vision, like street signs, are blurry and difficult to see.
Myopia occurs when the eyeball grows too long in relation to the power of the eye’s lenses, causing the focal point to be in front of the retina instead of directly on its surface.
If you are a parent, it is important to look for the tell-tale signs of myopia like squinting to see distant objects and difficulty seeing the blackboard at school. Poor posture while reading and a lack of interest in outdoor games can also indicate your child may have difficulty seeing distant objects.
Untreated early-onset myopia can lead to complex vision-related disorders such as a detached retina, or holes in the retina from over-stretching. That is why customised myopia control is the gold standard at Envision Optical.
Who Is at Risk of Developing Myopia?
While anyone can develop myopia, genetics seem to play a significant role in your risk level. Having one or more parents with myopia increases risk, along with Asian ethnicity.
Children who spend little time outdoors may also be at a higher risk earlier, putting them at risk for progression as adults. Time outside in full-spectrum natural light is beneficial to eyesight, though proper eye protection with sunglasses is still necessary.
Myopia Prevention Measures
Unfortunately, modern indoor lifestyles and the use of electronic devices have contributed to the dramatic increase in myopia. You can do some self-care at home to ensure that you are supporting good vision practices.
- We recommend childhood vision assessments to detect the early signs of myopia.
- Children should limit screen time outside of school to less than 2.5 hours per day.
- When using the computer, be sure it is positioned to limit eye strain and take breaks every 20 minutes by looking at something across the room or in the distance.
- Outdoor sport and play of 90 minutes a day can reduce the progression of myopia.
- Exposure to natural outdoor light is also beneficial, but be sure to wear eye and skin protection.
- Eat a nutritious diet that includes colourful fruits and vegetables.
- Take frequent breaks from near-work (reading, drawing, studying) and devices.
- Limit device use for children and encourage outdoor play
How We Manage Myopic Vision
At Envision Optical, we customise treatment based on the best approach for each patient individually. After our comprehensive eye assessment and consultation about your lifestyle, vision goals and where you feel most challenged with your eyesight, one of our optometrists will go over each option available, along with the benefits and limitations of each.
Unfortunately, prescribing standard spectacle lenses will help your vision today, but will not slow or stop myopia's progression. At Envision Optical, we focus on good vision for a lifetime and look for long-term solutions to improve and preserve vision.
Ortho-K for Myopia at the Gold Coast
Ortho-k, simply put, gently reshapes the eye surface using specialised contact lenses, improving the central light focus accurately at the retina and off-centre light to focus in front of the retina. The retina will no longer attempt to elongate.
We may use a low-dose atropine drop prescription in conjunction with ortho-k contact lenses. Atropine drops discourage retina elongation, and at low doses, have few side-effects.
Multifocal Soft Contact Lenses
At Envision Optical, we are accredited in prescribing corrective MiSight myopia control contact lenses. When worn, one part of the contact lens corrects the refractive error to improve distance vision for short-sighted patients. The remaining lens, made up of concentric peripheral rings, focuses part of the light at the front of the retina, which counteracts the stimulus that causes myopia's progression. We also offer several options in monthly Multifocal contact lenses suitable for myopia control.
Spectacle Lens Options
As mentioned, standard vision correction lenses do little to stop the progression of myopia. However, we offer a comprehensive near-point assessment of your binocular vision at both our Tweed Heads and Burleigh Waters locations that are not standard in most eye clinics.
In late 2020, we were proud to be one of the first practices in Australia to become accredited to prescribe the HOYA MiYOSMART spectacle lenses which slow myopia progression. These specialised lenses have shown approximately a 60% reduction in rate of myopia progression over a two year study. Ask us about the latest innovations in myopia lenses at your next eye exam. This technology is improving quickly with the increased need to address the short-sightedness and its progression. Our optometrists are thrilled to share the latest information with you at your next visit.
Ready to Visit Your Optometrist in Tweed Heads or Burleigh Waters?
We look forward to your call and to helping you achieve the best vision possible throughout your life. Contact one of our Gold Coast eye clinics to book a visit.