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How do MiyoSmart Lenses Work for Myopia Control?

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A child wearing a pair of glasses with MiyoSmart lenses studying.

Myopia is a common refractive error, and we are beginning to see rates of myopia increase. Myopia is progressing faster and developing earlier in children.

While myopia cannot be cured entirely without eye surgery, we can use several forms of treatment to control the rate of myopia progression in children as they grow. 

MiyoSmart eyeglass lenses help slow myopia progression in children by exposing children to both clear and defocused images. The center of the lens remains in focus, while the lens periphery is defocused, leading to a stabilization of eye growth and prescription.

What is Myopia?

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a common refractive error that causes distant objects to appear blurred while close objects can be seen clearly. To see clearly, the cornea bends light to land on the retina, where visual data is sent to your optic nerve, and data is transmitted to your brain for processing. 

Myopia affects the shape of our eye, causing the eyeball to grow too long from front to back. This elongation disrupts the relationship between the lens and the retina, leading to the inability to see objects in the distance. Myopia can be detected in childhood and can worsen as the individual grows if left unchecked.

Symptoms of myopia often include: 

  • Blurry distance vision
  • Squinting to try and see clearly
  • Eye strain and headaches

Recently, the prevalence of myopia has been steadily rising, around 5% of preschoolers and 9% of elementary school children have myopia. 

Myopia is genetic. Children whose parents have myopia have a higher risk of developing myopia. However, some environmental factors, like increased screen time are one of the reasons we are seeing an increase in children and adolescents with myopia. Encouraging children to play outside more can also help decrease the risk of myopia. 

Screen time is inevitable, and many schools use technology as a tool for learning. Screens are difficult to avoid. Consider implementing these strategies to help give your children’s eyes a break: 

  • Elbow rule: Keep books and screens an elbow-to-hand distance away from the face to avoid being too close to the eyes.
  • 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look away from screens or books and focus on an object about 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • 2-hour rule: Try to limit nonessential screen time to 2 hours a day for elementary-aged children.  

Understanding Myopia Control

Traditional glasses and contacts provide visual clarity but they don’t address the underlying issue of myopia progression. “Myopia control” describes treatments that aim to slow the progression of myopia in children. These treatments include specialized soft contact lenses, atropine drops, and specialized glasses lenses like MyioSmart lenses.  

Myopia starts developing before the age of 10 and then progresses over time. Myopia occurs when eyes grow quicker than their normal rate. When the eyes grow too quickly in childhood, they will continue to grow during teenage and adolescent years. This is called myopia progression. 

Childhood is a critical time for slowing the progression of myopia. As myopia progresses, a child’s nearby vision may also become blurry. Having high myopia can put individuals at risk for ocular diseases and concerns like: 

  • Retinal degeneration 
  • Retinal detachments 
  • Open-angle glaucoma 
  • Early age cataracts
An optometrist checking the eye of a child for signs of myopia.

The optometrist can determine a child’s rate of myopia progression by tracking its progression during routine eye exams. Children are advised to visit their optometrist annually for routine exams; however, some doctors may prefer to keep children on a 6-month check-in if they’re tracking the rate of myopia progression.

Measuring Axial Length for Myopia Progression Monitoring

One crucial aspect of monitoring myopia progression in children is measuring the axial length of the eye. Axial length refers to the distance from the front of the cornea to the back of the eye.

As myopia progresses, the axial length of the eye increases, causing the eye to elongate and grow longer from front to back. This elongation disrupts the focus of light on the retina, leading to blurred distance vision.

By regularly measuring a child’s axial length during eye exams, optometrists can track the rate at which the eye is elongating. This data, combined with monitoring changes in the child’s prescription strength, provides valuable insights into the progression of myopia.

Tracking axial length over time enables optometrists to evaluate the effectiveness of myopia control treatments like MiyoSmart lenses. If the axial length remains relatively stable or shows a slower rate of increase, it indicates that the treatment is successfully managing myopia progression.

Therefore, measuring axial length is an essential component of myopia management, allowing optometrists to make informed decisions about the appropriate course of treatment and monitor its efficacy in slowing down the excessive elongation of the eye.

What Are MyioSmart Lenses & How Can They Manage Myopia?

MiyoSmart lenses are a treatment option used to help slow the progression of myopia. These are single-vision eyeglass lenses that use Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments (DIMS) technology to slow the eye’s elongation.

When a child with myopia wears MiyoSmart lenses, they are exposed to both clear and peripheral defocused images. The focus zone at the center of the lens provides clear vision while the peripheral defocus zone signals the eye to slow its growth progression. 

The lens design creates an optical pathway that directs the light to focus in front of the retina, where visual data is sent to your optic nerve, and data is transmitted to your brain for processing. 

One study found that MiyoSmart lenses helped reduce the rate of myopia by up to 59% and eye elongation by 60%. Wearing MyioSmart lenses long-term allowed for myopia control to be sustained for over 6 years. By consistently wearing MiyoSmart lenses, children can potentially experience less myopia progression, therefore reducing their risk of developing ocular conditions later in life.

MyioSmart lenses are suitable for children between the ages of 6 to 18 years old. These lenses can be prescribed once a child is showing signs of myopia progression. 

While many children can benefit from MyioSmart lenses, your optometrist will be able to determine if your child’s vision prescription fits the range of these specialized lenses. Currently, these lenses are compatible with children who have a prescription of -10.00D and a cyl (astigmatism range) of -4.00D. 

Due to the nature of the lens defocus technology, it does take about 1 to 2 weeks to adapt to MiyoSmart lenses. During this adaptation period, full-time constant wear of the lenses is encouraged. 

Schedule a Consultation!

Myopia is a common refractive error, but high myopia can lead to ocular health concerns. The most effective time to manage myopia and slow down progression is during childhood. 

MiyoSmart lenses are one of the several treatment options that have been shown to reduce the progression of myopia in children. Many children may benefit from MiyoSmart lens technology. Consult your optometrist to learn if your child is a good candidate for MiyoSmart lenses!

Written by Lareina Yeung

Dr. Yeung graduated with her Honours Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Optometry degrees from the University of Waterloo in 2003. Upon graduation, she joined the team at Queensway Optometric Centre (QOC). In addition to her work at QOC, Dr. Yeung served on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO) for 7 years, where she chaired and participated in various committees. Dr. Yeung spent her final year at the OAO as Vice President and is a recipient of the OAO President’s Award for her outstanding contribution to the profession.
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