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What is Myopia

Myopia is a disorder of the focus of the eye whereby the light is focused from near objects but not far objects. There are two types of myopia, refractive, where the eyes lenses are faulty and the more common axial myopia, where the eyeball has grown too long and, therefore the light id focussed before the retina.

How does myopia develop?

That's good question, we are at the very beginning of our research into this huge question. We are learning though and our best guess at the moment is that the cause is multifactorial. This includes environmental factors such as less time spent outdoors in the open, chemical/metabolic such as vitamin D deficiency, behavioural such as excessive reading or computer use and genetics. Our best theory currently, however, is the peripheral defocus theory please (see above).

What are the risks?

The research around this subject is constantly changing and evolving, for the most up-to-date information check out the links at the bottom of this page. Current thinking, however, is that a child with one parent is 4x more likely to become myopic and a child with two myopic parents is 9x more likely. A child that spends more time indoors, especially reading/gaming is at a greater risk. Also age of initial development of myopia poses a risk for developing higher prescriptions. The younger that they develop myopia the greater the risk.

How can I my childs risk?

Assessing your child's risk of developing myopia is quite easy, obviously you'll have a good idea of the family history. If the parents have not had an eye examination then they should as even a small amount of myopia increases the child's risk. You can also take note of much time the child spends outdoors? 


For a more formal risk assessment, however, you can use the links below to make a more detailed assessment of your child's myopia risk.

At what age should I have my child's sight tested?

Thompson & Hardwick can assess the sight of anybody regardless of age. A very small child can be assessed even without any alphabet knowledge. 

It may be necessary to instil some cycloplegic eyedrops to properly asses your child's vision. These drops dilate the pupil and temporarily paralyses the focussing muscles that can affect a child's prescription. This is the most accurate assessment possible. Unfortunately the drops can sting so you will need to be prepared for that.

My child is at risk, but they are not myopic what can I do?

We are naturally born long-sighted and with time, as the eye develops we go through a process called emmatropisation whereby the eye slowly becomes more myopic until it stops with a zero prescription. Obviously this can continue, It is generally thought that if a child is not hyperopic (has a + prescription) at the age of 6/7 then they are at a greater risk of developing myopia. At this point we would like to make sure that the child spends lots of time outdoors and obviously has regular eye examinations, hopefully this will be enough to stifle any development. As soon as they become myopic, however, we would discuss the interventions detailed above.

I don't think my child is ready for contact lenses?

Not everybody is comfortable with the concept of putting a lens onto the eye. That's ok, Thompson & Hardwick Optometrists would obviously like to reassure all that we would be with you all the way and ensure that you have everything you need to safely wear them. However, if it is still not for you or your child thankfully we now have an excellenct alternative in the Miyosmart glasses lenses. Contact lens wear can be revisited and started at any point. The Miyosmart lenses will do just as good a job at myopia prevention in the mean time or for as long as the child wishes to wear them. 

Is it safe to sleep in lenses?

Many do think that sleeping in lenses creates greater risk of infection, however, it must be remembered that OrthoK lenses are NOT worn during the day. Effectively the child will be wearing contact lenses for less time than they would a conventional daily lens. Therefore,  the less amount of time a lens is worn then the less risk of adverse reactions or infections.

The risk is still there, however. It is very important to make sure that all hygiene and good practice is followed. Thompson & Hardwick Optometrists will ensure that you have everything you need to wear the lenses safely. Click here for contact lens handling advice.

What happens if I do nothing?

That's a very good question. We don't know, nobody really knows. It might well be that your child does not develop myopia or if they do they might develop it at a very slow rate. All we can do is look at the risk factors and assume the more risks that are present the more likely your child will develop myopia and they could develop high myopia. It is simply your choice to intervene or not. All that we can do is present the evidence and remind you that for every dioptre of myopia that we reduce the risk of developing sight threatening conditions in the future is also reduced.

At what age should they stop wearing these lenses?

Another very good question and another one that we really don't know the answer to. 

Despite all that we currently know myopia research is still very much in it's infancy. There simply has not been enough good quality research, or time, to fully answer this question. current thinking is that best practice would be to continue until the child stops growing in their mid twenties, however,  this is just an educated guess. 

For more information on the latest research, check out the links below. 

MiYosmart DIMS

The Miyosmart lens is an innovative design that uses hundreds of invisible lenslets embedded within the lens periphery and your child's sight creating an annulus of blur. It is this blur that reduces the eyes stimulus to grow and, therefore, the growth of the eyeball.

It is important that the glasses are fitting, and worn correctly s that the central clear zone is positioned correctly for the most effective treatment.

Bloom Day

Bloom day is a revolutionary soft daily disposable lens design that creates a central pinhole of vision surrounded by an extended focus annulus of blur creating a reduced stimulus to eye growth. An advantage of using these lenses is that the central clear zone will always be positioned correctly.

Get the Bloom App

As part of the Bloom package, all solutions come as standard for Bloom Night and an accompanying app is used to monitor your progress.

The app allows us to keep in touch, ordering any replacement lenses needed and making sure that are close by to offer any help as you or your child needs it. 

The app is also a handy way to track the progress of the treatment ensuring it's effectiveness.

Bloom Night

Bloom night is a magical treatment otherwise known as Orthokeratology. The lenses are worn at night to gently reshape the cornea and correct the sight. The effect lasts for up to 48 hours giving the wearer  clear vision all day. Because the reshaping does not occur over the entire cornea an annulus of blur is created in the periphery which enables the desired amount of retina blur to prevent the axial growth of the eyeball and thus retard myopia development. 

OrthoK is not exclusively reserved for those wanting to prevent myopia development. Adults have been successfully wearing these lenses as a way of achieving daily glasses and contact lens freedom since the 1960's. If you are interested in this treatment book an appointment to have a chat, as a general rule the treatment works best for prescriptions of -4.50 DS and lower with only mild astigmatism.

The lens creates a central area of corneal flattening to achieve perfect vision results that last the whole day without lens wear! 

Lens Fitting



Reduces the risk of developing retinal detachment by

Reduces the risk of developing cataract and open angle Glaucoma by


Reduces the risk of myopic degeneration by


Myopia Prevention

Myopia or Short-sightedness is becoming more prevalent year on year around the globe. Some have described it as a pandemic Arghhh!


As a profession we are understanding more and more about this affliction and have been able provide not only advice on how to prevent myopia developing but also products that help to slow down it's development. Reducing myopia doesn't just reduce the size of your prescription, it also protects your eyes from damage later in life.

Every dioptre of prescription decreased 

Scroll to the bottom of this page for some some practical tips and links to further reading.


MiYoSmart Spectacles

To customize the text style for all items, click Edit Text. You can change font, size, scale text and more. 


Bloom Day Soft Lenses

To customize the text style for all items, click Edit Text. You can change font, size, scale text and more. 


Bloom Night OrthoK

To customize the text style for all items, click Edit Text. You can change font, size, scale text and more. 

Myopia interventions

The Brien Holden Vision Institute

Myopia Focus

My Kids Vision

For more Information check out...

  • Thompson & Hardwick Optometrists is proud to be a supporter of MyopiaFocus provides impartial information on myopia and myopia management in children. Please also consider signing the organisations campaign to get the NHS to recognise myopia as an ocular disease and fund Myopia Management for Children”

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