Hoya’s game changing myopia control technology is now available at Family Eyecare: read on to find out how this could help reduce or even halt your child’s prescription changes!
What is myopia?
Myopia is commonly referred to as short-sightedness, generally meaning you can see clearly close by but not at a distance. This is denoted by a minus sign (-) on the prescription. Depending on the degree of myopia, you may wear spectacles all the time, or just for certain tasks e.g. watching TV or driving .
Approximately a third of the population is myopic, but this figure varies by ethnicity and country, with some populations having much larger figures. Myopia is increasingly common amongst younger children. Research suggests that by 2050, approximately half of the planet will be myopic.
What is myopia control?
The field of myopia control is one that has seen great advances in the last few years. The idea is to slow down the changes in myopia, which generally happen frequently in adolescence and teenage years.
Until recently, the only available forms of myopia control were contact lens based. This meant that for children who were unable to wear contact lenses (either because of personal preference, age or maturity), there was no option available.
In the last couple of years, there are now spectacle options, the most famous of which is MiyoSmart from Hoya, a Japanese lens company. Essilor, a French brand, also have their own version of a myopia control lens called Stellest.
How does it work?
Essentially, the lens works by giving very clear central vision, and peripheral defocus. This defocus is generally not noticeable (i.e. your child will not notice the peripheral blurriness after a short period of adaptation), but it is clinically proven to slow axial length growth (i.e. the rate at which the eye grows) and therefore slow the rate of myopia increase significantly.
Who is this suitable for?
Generally, young children, adolescents and teenagers tend to see the largest increases in myopia. If your child is seeing large increases in their prescription every time they visit the optician, they would be an ideal candidate to be fitted with myopia control lenses.
Miysomart lenses are available if your child’s spectacle prescription is under -10.00DS and less than 4.00DC (astigmatism) and 3 dioptres in prism. The vast majority of prescriptions fall in these parameters.
Hoya’s research shows that about half of children showed a significant slowdown in their rate of prescription changes, and about a fifth showed no change at all (over two years). Our own experience thus far at Family Eyecare shows that in about half to two thirds of cases there has been no change at all in the space of a year, and in the majority of the remaining cases the changes have been far less than they were before the child was fitted with MiyoSmart. However, as with any treatment, there are no guarantees, and every case is unique.
How much does it cost?
The lenses cost a one-time up-front fee of £375 in addition to the value of the NHS voucher your child will normally be entitled to (if under 18 and in full-time education). If for any reason your child is ineligible for an NHS voucher (this would be unusual), then the cost is £420.
If your child’s prescription changes by more than -0.50DS within the space of a year, then the lenses will be replaced by Hoya at no charge. If the prescription changes by -0.50DS or less, we will discuss with you whether the spectacles need updating, and if deemed necessary then this will be done at half price (= £185 + NHS voucher). If the prescription changes after a year, then the lenses will cost the full amount again.
We do not have any additional charges for check-ups or eye tests for children wearing MiyoSmart lenses; necessary checks are included as part of their NHS funded eye examinations.
We are aware that most opticians only offer Miyosmart and similar products as part of a recurring payment scheme; we find the cost of such schemes makes the cost of the lenses prohibitive to many parents and so have simplified our model to include only a single up-front charge.
How do I book in?
Call 0208 423 5818 and specify at time of booking that you are interested in exploring the option of MiyoSmart lenses for your child. We require an eye test here before dispensing lenses (even if you have had one carried out elsewhere recently).
Do you offer other myopia control options?
We also work with CooperVision MiSight contact lenses which work well for those children who prefer to wear contact lenses. These are also clinically proven to slow the increase in myopia, although anecdotally we do not find them as effective as MiyoSmart. If you would like to discuss contact lens options, you will need to book a contact lens assessment, chargeable at £35, as well as your child’s normal NHS sight test.