Act now to halt progression of myopia in your child

Now we have realised that there is a myopic epidemic among children in Asia and many other countries, parents and schools are trying to address how to halt or reduce the progression of myopia (short-sightedness) in children, which is caused by near-vision work indoors.

Parents need to get their child back outdoors into the playground and into the sun – even if it is a cloudy day the dopamine in their retina will be stimulated.

In China and Singapore, schoolchildren are now required to spend a certain number of hours outside in the fresh air, and not just studying at their desks or having leisure pursuits that involve near vision. Developing a plan for your child’s vision is essential, and there is a lot that you can do at home for them to prevent them getting myopia.

It really is true that if you sit too near to the television in poor light, your eyes will be damaged, resulting in the development of myopia in childhood and adolescence. In the very near future, we hope to provide a new medical treatment at Clinica London on which researchers are concluding their studies. This treatment comes in the form of eye drops that will influence your child’s retina and slow down the progression of myopia.

Myopia in children is a hot topic among eye doctors and parents, but the treatment with eye drops is not available in Europe yet. The currently available formulation of atropine 0.01% eye drops has a pH of 4, and the patient must use it for two years; therefore it runs the risk of causing as yet undetermined ocular surface problems.

The product has not yet received marketing authorisation in the EU, so at the moment it is still an Investigational Medical Product, unfortunately. There is a lot of research in progress and a lot of effort to find a non-acidic stable formulation. I am sure this is going to change soon but at present atropine drops are not going to be something we can offer immediately.

The children’s ophthalmologist at Clinica London will discuss the options with parents of children with myopia and advise them about glasses and environmental factors that will help them.

To be assessed for this, your child will need to see Ms Naz Raoof, the paediatric ophthalmologist. If you are an adult and your myopia is established, you will have to have an assessment examination with Mr Sajjad Ahmad, who is the corneal refractive surgeon.

They will be able to advise the child’s parents, or the myopic adult, after doing tests to establish baseline measurements of the eye refraction and length and shape of the eye. In the case of your child, the doctor will be able to tell you if they are suitable to take part in the trial of the eye drop treatment to halt or reduce the progression of myopia. For adults with the condition, the doctor will outline the options available.

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Naz-Raoof-Resident-expert-clinica-london

Naz Raoof, BA, BM BCh, FRCOphth

Ophthalmologist specialising in Paediatrics, Strabismus & Neuro-ophthalmology

Resident expert – Naz Raoof

I am a Consultant Ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital and the Royal London Hospital (appointed 2017).

At Clinica London, I am responsible for paediatric ophthalmology, strabismus treatment and neuro-ophthalmology. I also see adults and children with general and urgent eye problems and carry out routine and urgent procedures at Clinica London.

I trained as a doctor at the University of Oxford, qualifying in 2004. Following my training, the Royal Hallamshire Hospital (Sheffield) and the University of Sheffield employed me as a junior doctor in Ophthalmology.

I undertook two post-training specialist Fellowships in paediatrics, strabismus and neuro-ophthalmology, including 12 months at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London and in Auckland, New Zealand, before becoming a Consultant.

More about specialist

MORE USEFUL INFORMATION

Read more about children’s eye conditions

Routine eye checks are offered to newborn babies and children to identify any problems early on in their development. This page discusses the most critical tests. Click here for more information
The National Eye Institute (US) supports vision research through approximately 1600 research grants and training awards made to scientists at more than 250 medical centres, universities, and other institutions across the country and around the world. Click here for more information
Resources designed for parents, carers, teachers and those working in the community – providing advice on how best to take care of young eyes including leaflets, videos and posters. Click here for more information
By |2018-12-13T17:35:34+00:00October 30th, 2018|General Eye Conditions, Myopia, Naz Raoof, News|Comments Off on Act now to halt progression of myopia in your child