What is Myopia and What Can Be Done for Short-Sighted Children?

The experts from Hoya explain about myopia (short-sightedness) and an ingenious new way to counteract it

What is myopia and what causes it?

Myopia , also known as short-sightedness or near-sightedness occurs when the eyeball is too long or when the cornea, the front surface of the eye, is to curve. This in turn leads to light entering the eye focusing incorrectly on the retina or seeing part of the eye resulting blurred vision when looking in the distance but clear vision when looking at near. If a child has one parent that is myopic they are 3x more likely to develop myopia and 6x if both parents are myopic.

How common is myopia and is it increasing?

Since the 1960s the incidence of myopia had doubled in the UK children. The current UK prevalence in 16–18-year-olds is approximately 32% and by 2050 over 50% of the UK population is predicted to be myopic. 1

Does myopia particularly affect children?

Myopia typically begins in children aged 6-13 and can rapidly advance throughout the teenage years while the eye is still growing. Studies suggest that long periods of close work including the use of digital devices and indoor lifestyle during childhood contribute to its development. 2

What are the signs that my child may be myopic?

Typical signs that a child may be myopic are:

  • Needing to sit near the front of the class at school because they find it difficult to read the whiteboard
  • Sitting close to the TV
  • Complaining of headaches or tired eyes
  • Regularly rubbing their eyes
  • Squinting

What can be the long-term effects of untreated myopia?

Untreated myopia can affect a child’s development as they may struggle with schooling, socialising and sport activities due blurred vision. Worryingly as the level of myopia increases so does the risk of developing sight threatening conditions such as glaucoma, retinal detachment or myopic maculopathy, the latter being the major cause of blindness in both Asia and western populations.

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What should I do if I suspect my child may be myopic?

Contact an optician of your choice to book your child in for an eye examination this not only checks the vision but also the health of the eyes. An NHS eye examination for children under 16 is free every 12 months and for children from 16-18 in full-time education every two years.

What is the principle behind DIMS technology and the MiYOSMART lens?

Standard spectacle and contact lenses focus light well on the macular, the most sensitive part of the retina however in the periphery focus light behind the retina this being a stimulus for the eye to elongate and increase myopia.

The MiYOSMART lens has a special structure, incorporating a clear central zone giving the full myopic correction surrounded by a D.I.M.S (Defocus Incorporated Multi Segment) treatment zone. The unique dual structure of the treatment zone ensures light is focused in front of the peripheral retina, removing the growth trigger whilst supporting clear vision

The beauty of this lens is that all the technology is hidden so the lens looks like a standard single vision spectacle lens.

Is DIMS technology supported by scientific studies?

The MiYOSMART spectacle lens is a collaborative development between the prestigious Hong Kong Poly University and HOYA. This lens has been clinically proven, via a prospective 2-year randomised control trial to be safe, easy, and effective in management of myopia, on average reducing myopia progression by 60% . The 3 years follow up study showing that the myopia control effect was sustained, all data being peer reviewed. 3

How effective can MiYOSMART be in treating myopia?

The clinical trial showed on average a reduction of 60% in myopia progression was achieved over a 2- year period with the myopia control effect being sustained in the 3rd year. 21.5% had no progression in myopia over this period.

This said, with any myopia management intervention it’s important to understand that wearing time / lifestyle such and as outdoor activities and regular near vision breaks will influence the overall efficacy

Where can I find out more about MiYOSMART?

To find out more about the MiYOSMART go to
and find your nearest accredited optician at


1 https://www.ulster.ac.uk/research/topic/biomedical-sciences/research/optometry-and-vision-science/research/myopia-and-the-nicer-study Acuity Focus on Myopia August 2018 College of Optometrists (college-optometrists.org)

2 https://www.ulster.ac.uk/research/topic/biomedical-sciences/research/optometry-and-vision-science/research/myopia-and-the-nicer-study Acuity Focus on Myopia August 2018 College of Optometrists (college-optometrists.org)


(Nickels S, Hopf S, Pfeiffer N, Schuster AK. Myopia is associated with education: results from NHANES 1999-2008. PLoS One. 2019;14(1):e0211196.)

(Mountjoy E, Davies NM, Plotnikov D, et al. Education and myopia: assessing the direction of causality by mendelian randomisation. BMJ. 2018;361:k2022.)

(Morgan IG, French AN, Ashby RS, et al. The epidemics of myopia: aetiology and prevention. Prog Retin Eye Res. 2018;62:134–49.(KNHANES VI). PLoS One. 2019;14(1):e0211204)

(Jones LA, Sinnott LT, Mutti DO, Mitchell GL, Moeschberger ML, Zadnik K. Parental history of myopia, sports and outdoor activities, and future myopia. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2007;48(8):3524–32)

(Flaxman, SR, Bourne, RRA, Resnikoff, S, et al. Global causes of blindness and distance vision impairment 1990-2020: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Glob Health 2017; 5: e1221–e1234)

3 (Lam CSY, Tang WC, Tse DY, Lee RPK, Chun RKM, Hasegawa K, Qi H, Hatanaka T, To CH. Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments (DIMS) spectacle lenses slow myopia progression: a 2-year randomised clinical trial. British Journal of Ophthalmology. Published Online First: 29 May 2019. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2018-313739)


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