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Normally, a child’s eye at birth should be short to grow into normal focus as an adult. If the child is born with a longer than average eye (often still short but not as short) or grows longer faster than average or both, the child can become short-sighted (myopic/nearsighted). The elongation of the eye can be measured by the focus changes with their glasses or, more accurately but interferometry. Interferometry is a machine that can measure the distance from front to back of the eye without touching it in micrometres.

Again, for accurate prescribing of glasses, cycloplegic refraction must occur, which involves a set of dilating drops in the clinic. These drops also stop the eye from changing its focus to measure the child’s true refractive error.

As the eye can only grow further, myopia is progressive. We now know lifestyle and genetics are very important. Early review if there is a family history is recommended, and an increase in natural light exposure, especially before myopia occurs, has been extensively documented in the research literature. Reduction of near work has also been recommended to help slow progression down. There are now various interventions to reduce progression, and at the forefront is the use of novel designs glasses and low dose atropine drops.

Population data reveals myopia rates have risen worldwide, and with this, it is also occurring in younger children leading to high myopia. High myopia is of concern for its associated eye diseases as an adult, including permanent vision loss.

More information is in my research section as it is the title of my PhD, “ Myopia progression in Children”, and ongoing research.

Another myopia resource is 

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