12 Questions answered

What symptoms differentiate degenerative myopia from normal childhood myopia?

Degenerative myopia is a severe form of nearsightedness that damages the retina. The retina is what lets you ‘capture’ images in order to send them to your brain. This is important as an eye doctor can check for retinal damage during an eye exam. Your doctor will widen (dilate) your eyes in order to see your retinas. Both types of myopia result in your eyeball being stretched, but degenerative myopia means there is damage to the tissues in the eye. Tissue damage does increase the possibility of sight loss. Degenerative myopia can lead to macula issues.

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Answered By

Dr Harold Choi

Ophthalmologist

How does looking at a distant object help control myopia progression?

It reduces the accommodative effort (the effort needed by the ciliary muscles of the eye to focus on near objects). By looking at objects far away, it tends to relax your eye muscles. I would recommend parents teach their kids good habits to help with any eyestrain they feel. Taking regular vision breaks or going outside during near work can help the kid slow down myopia. These breaks can be as short as 3 to 5 minutes. It can be done even by looking outside the window into the distance or nearby trees.

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Answered By

Dr Harold Choi

Ophthalmologist

How will smartphone use affect my child’s eye health?

Smart devices overuse does increase the risk of myopia. Too much screentime could cause retinal eye damage over time. This also stops the eyes from focusing when they're away from the screen. A study shows that when a child spends too much time on a smart device, they will be more prone to dry-eye diseases [1]. There is a higher chance of developing severe myopia in the future if a child develops myopia in their youth. This will add on to digital eye strain (also known as computer vision syndrome). Hence, I generally feel smartphones are not meant for children’s eyes.

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Answered By

Dr Harold Choi

Ophthalmologist

Why do different ethnicities have different rates of myopia?

Myopia is indeed a global health concern which is linked with a wide range of ocular complications. Thus, it will definitely affect your quality of life. Genetics plays a role in myopia. Myopia is much more prevalent in Asians than Caucasians. There is a high prevalence of myopia in Singapore. A population-based study of young adult males in Singapore shows 79. 3% of them were myopic [1]. 13. 1% of them were severely myopic. The study shows that the Chinese have the highest rates of myopia compared to the Indians and Malays. Ethnicities Prevalence of Myopia Chinese 82.

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Answered By

Dr Harold Choi

Ophthalmologist

Can adult-onset myopia be slowed down by glasses technology meant to slow myopia in children?

No. You are probably referring to spectacles like Hoya MiYOSMART or Myopilux. These were made specifically to slow myopia in children. Adult-onset myopia is different from child myopia. Adult-onset myopia often means low to moderate myopia. Meanwhile, high myopia is more common in childhood-onset myopia. Adults develop myopia due to the long hours of doing activities that require intense visual focus.

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Answered By

Dr Harold Choi

Ophthalmologist

How does not wearing glasses and letting my vision remain blurry cure myopia?

Myopia tends to gradually increase with age. Leaving your vision blurry doesn’t cure myopia at all. In fact, if you do not use glasses to get a clear vision, it may cause eye strains as well as headaches. This happens when your eyes are not able to focus clearly and properly. This may cause your myopia to progress even more.

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Answered By

Dr Harold Choi

Ophthalmologist

When would doctors recommend anti-glare lenses?

Anti-glare glasses are useful for people who spend a lot of time on: computer, outdoors under the sun and whose pupils are big - people who use atropine eye drops, or have had recent eye surgery. An anti-glare glass helps when there is light shining from behind. This is especially useful when you are driving at night when headlights shine into your car.

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Answered By

Dr Harold Choi

Ophthalmologist

Will reading while lying down worsen myopia?

Actually, reading while lying down by itself has no effect on eyesight. This is provided that you do keep a good reading distance and have adequate light. A good reading distance is about 20 to 30cm. Any form of close reading in any type of position can be considered near-work, which should be avoided. However, reading while lying down is discouraged because gravity pulls your book towards you. That said, it is more likely you will not keep a good reading distance.

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Answered By

Dr Harold Choi

Ophthalmologist

What factors affect children's myopia progression speed?

Myopia often begins during childhood. This happens when the eyeball grows too long, thus, causing blurry distance vision. In most cases, myopia tends to get worse as the kid gets older as their eyes will continue to grow. There are many factors that may affect your child's myopia progression speed: the family history of myopia, ethnicity - Asian children have the highest risk [1], lifestyle - the amount of near work, previous history of premature delivery. References: 1. Theophanous C, Modjtahedi B, Batech M, Marlin D, Luong T, Fong D. Myopia prevalence and risk factors in children.

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Answered By

Dr Harold Choi

Ophthalmologist

Contact lens vs spectacles, what are the pros and cons for young children?

Generally, I prefer spectacles for young children. This is because contact lenses require a lot of proper care and hygiene. I have seen needless vision loss due to infection from contact lenses in children. Hence, I am generally not so keen for young children to wear contact lenses. There are, however, exceptional cases like severely high myopia or hypermetropia which may warrant contact lenses but, these cases are not common.

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Answered By

Dr Harold Choi

Ophthalmologist

What can adult-onset myopia be a symptom of?

Do consider seeing your attending Ophthalmologist to exclude medical conditions including newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus, early onset cataracts, or accommodative spasm. All of which may benefit from treatment.

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Answered By

Dr E-Shawn Goh

Ophthalmologist

How effective is wearing PC lens to reduce eye strain helpful in addressing myopia?

There are many forms of spectacles that are touted to reduce eye strain, for example, when using the computer for a prolonged period of time. These forms of spectacles usually involve various anti-reflective lens coatings that reduce glare and improve contrast. However, there is no evidence that they can be useful in preventing or slowing down the development of myopia in children. Unfortunately, these forms of spectacles definitely cannot reverse myopia in adults.

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Answered By

Dr E-Shawn Goh

Ophthalmologist

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* This profile has been last updated on January 8.