What is myopia?

Myopia, often called nearsightedness, is commonly understood as the inability to see far away objects clearly without glasses or contact lenses. It is, in fact, much more than that.Myopia is a chronic, progressive disease where continued eye growth not only worsens their distance vision, it also increases future risk of sight-threatening complications.1


The exact causes of the increase in myopia amongst recent generations have been unproven, There are a number of risk factors associated with the onset and progression of myopia, including:
  • Age of the child when they develop myopia2
  • Minimal time outdoors (< 2 hrs/day)3
  • Near work for longer duration or at a shorter working distance4,5
  • Myopic parent(s)6 

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Myopia is a growing global epidemic:

Did you know that myopia population has nearly doubled over the past 20 years? And that by 2050 nearly half of the world’s population will be myopic.
The prevalence among young adults is above 80% in many Asian regions,7 and 50% in the U.S. and parts of Europe.8,9

Myopia can increase9 the risk of sight-threatening complications:

By 2050, nearly 1 billion people are expected to have high myopia (a prescription of 5D of myopia or higher)17.
Risk of visual impairment from myopia, especially high myopia, stems from having a longer eye length and increased likelihood of developing myopic macular degeneration10.(image shown a simulation of visual impairment resulting from macular degeneration)

All children should be monitored:

There is no safe level of myopia. Research indicates that the earlier a child becomes myopic, the higher the risk of myopia progression15 and developing high myopia16
 1. Haarman AEG, Enthoven CA, Tideman JWL, Tedja MS, Verhoeven VJM, Klaver CCW. The Complications of Myopia: A Review and Meta-Analysis. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2020 Apr 9;61(4):49. doi: 10.1167/iovs.61.4.49. PMID: 32347918; PMCID: PMC7401976. 2. Chua SY et al. Age of Onset of Myopia Predicts Risk of High Myopia in Later Childhood in Myopic Singapore Children. Ophthal Physiol Opt 2016;36:388-94. 3. Wu PC et al. Increased Time Outdoors Is Followed by Reversal of the Long-Term Trend to Reduced Visual Acuity in Taiwan Primary School Students. Ophthalmology. 2020 Feb 8:S0161-6420(20)30139-1. 4. Huang et al. The Association between Near Work Activities and Myopia in Children: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLoS One 2015;10:e0140419. 5. Wen L et al. Objectively measured near work, outdoor exposure and myopia in children. British Journal of Ophthalmology Published Online First: 19 February 2020. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2019-315258. 6. Tedja MS et al. IMI - Myopia Genetics Report. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2019;60:M89-M105. 7. Ding, Bo-Yuan, et al. "Myopia among schoolchildren in East Asia and Singapore." Survey of ophthalmology 62.5 (2017): 677-697. 8. Vitale S et al. Prevalence of refractive error in the United States, 1999-2004. Arch Ophthalmol. 2008;126:1111-9. 9. Williams K et al. Increasing prevalence of myopia in Europe and the impact of education. Ophthalmology. 2015 Jul 1;122(7):1489-97. 10. Ohno-Matsui K et al. Updates of Pathologic Myopia. Prog Retin Eye Res 2016;52:156-87. 11. Ohno-Matsui K, Jonas JB. Posterior staphyloma in pathologic myopia. Prog Retin Eye Res 2019;70:99-109. 12. Mitry D et al. The Epidemiology of Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment: Geographical Variation and Clinical Associations. Br J Ophthalmol 2010;94:678-84.13. Marcus MW et al. Myopia as a Risk Factor for Open-Angle Glaucoma: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Ophthalmol 2011;118:1989-94. 14. Pan CW et al. Myopia and Age-Related Cataract: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. American Journal of Ophthalmology 156.5 (2013): 1021-1033. 15. Chua SY et al. Age of Onset of Myopia Predicts Risk of High Myopia in Later Childhood in Myopic Singapore Children. Opthal Physiol Opt 2016;36:388-94. 16. Hu Y, Ding X, Guo X, et al. Association of Age at Myopia Onset with Risk of High Myopia In Adulthood In a 12-Year Follow-up of a Chinese Cohort. JAMA Opthalmol 2020. 17. Holden et al Ophthalmol 2016; 123: 1036 


Measuring and monitoring children's eye health, even from an early age, is highly recommended. For every diopter a child’s myopia can be reduced, their chance of retinal disease decreases by 40%.1 To have the biggest impact on managing your child’s myopia progression, it is important to act early. A regular annual comprehensive eye exam for your child is highly recommended until they are 18 years-old.If your child is diagnosed with myopia, there are four common therapies for managing myopia you can consider. The myopia control effect is similar across treatments, so you can focus on identifying the ones that seem to be a good fit for your child and his/her lifestyle.2 It is important that you discuss your child’s myopia and available options with your child’s eyecare professional to determine the right treatment.

Orthokeratology Lenses for Myopia management

Orthokeratology, also known as Ortho-K, OK-lens, or overnight lens, is a specialty contact lens worn overnight that temporarily reshapes the cornea, allowing clear vision during the day without glasses. Ortho-K is a great option for kids active in athletics and water activities, and it has even shown to subjectively improve appearance and social self-perception versus wearing glasses.3 Because this lens is used overnight at home, parents are able to help with insertion and removal, which makes it a good option for younger kids.

Soft Multifocal Contact Lenses*

These specialty contact lenses are worn during the day to control myopia progression while providing clear vision. Myopia control soft contact lenses are also a great option for kids active in athletics, in addition to helping subjectively improve appearance and social self-perception versus wearing glasses.4

Myopia Control Spectacle Lenses