【減慢近視加深 Myopia Control】專訪伍尚舜博士 Interview with Dr Vincent Ng


Many parents are aware that myopia is a serious problem among Hong Kong children How serious is it? The studies by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University show that about 60% of children aged 11 to 12 are myopic The main concerns of many parents are whether their children will become myopic and what they could do once it is onset Wearing spectacles is the basic method to control myopia Even with spectacles, parents most worry about their children’s myopia progression occurs with advancing age as well as the side effects Becoming myopic is not simply about wearing spectacles to improve vision acuity Myopia progression comes along with increasing age When myopia develops to over -6.00D or above which results in high myopia, wearing spectacles is not the only issue it has a direct influence on eye health In general, the higher the myopia the higher the risk of sight threatening diseases such as macular degeneration, cataract, retinal detachment and glaucoma What causes myopia development? Genetic factor plays a key role Myopic parents increase the risk of myopic children the risk of myopic children Acquired factors would also cause myopia such as long reading time or short reading distance of children Some recent studies indicate that children’s insufficient outdoor activities and less exposure to sunlight also increase the risk of myopia How can parents help prevent childhood myopia? Many recent studies state that giving children more time for outdoor activities can prevent myopia development Recent studies also point out that children can reduce the risk of myopia by 30% if they have around 1 hour of outdoor activities per day Wearing spectacles is the basic method to control myopia progression and improve children’s vision Here I would like to highlight a myth that suggests reducing myopia prescription can slow down children’s myopia progression In fact, studies show that reducing the prescription does not retard myopia progression Instead, it results in speeding up myopia progression Parents should be aware of such misconception How can parents help their children to control myopia progression? Wearing spectacles is one of the options. Conventional single vision lenses can only correct the refractive errors For controlling myopia progression, a number of studies indicate that some special designed lenses can help to reduce the progression of children’s myopia One of those is progressive lenses which can effectively reduce myopia progression for children with esophoria and accommodative insufficiency. Bi-focal lenses with prisms would be another choice that each lens comprises an upper lens for correcting myopia and seeing far objects and a lower lens for seeing near objects Compared to single vision lenses bi-focal lenses with prisms are more effective in slowing down children’s myopia progression by 60% Wearing contact lenses is another way to reduce myopia progression Such contact lenses are not the conventional ones but refer to the special designed ones One of those is Orthokeratology (Ortho-K) hard contact lenses which are worn every night and can be removed in the daytime One of the advantages of wearing Ortho-K lenses is that children could maintain clear vision without the need to wear spectacles in the daytime Most importantly, continuous wearing of Ortho-K lenses can retard myopia progression With reference to previous studies wearing Ortho-K lenses can reduce myopia progression by 40-60% which is more effective than wearing conventional spectacles Soft contact lenses are also effective in retarding myopia progression They are not conventional single vision soft lenses but with special design The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has invented and commercialized the novel Defocus Incorporated Soft Contact (DISC) lenses which are more effective in slowing down children’s myopia progression by 50-60% when compared to conventional single vision contact lenses Using eye drops can also reduce myopia progression Recent studies state that using low dose of atropine can slow down the progression of myopia for children But more research are needed for knowing about the side effects of long-term use of atropine to children’s eyes Please consult optometrists for advice on the best treatment for your children

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