Singapore has one of the world’s highest myopia rate and the numbers are still rising. Myopia is an eye condition where a person cannot see distance object clearly and this has to be corrected by wearing a spectacles or contact lenses.
Children in Singapore tend to spend a lot of time on near-work activities like reading, working or playing on computers and hand-held games will contribute to myopia development and progression.
It is an increasing concern for parents to help prevent our child from getting myopia and those parents with myopia children on how to slow down the progression and prevent it from getting worst. Myopia usually starts to develop in children of school-going age and will continue to get worsen until they reach their early twenties after that the condition will usually tend to stabilise.
Our Parenting World was invited to a talk held by W Eye Clinic and W Optic where it will introduce the latest myopia control programmes available for children.
This topic is particularly of concern to parents and also to us as our friends and readers have noticed that Gor Gor has started to wear spectacles. When he was first discovered of having trace of myopia during the school eye examination, he refused to accept the fact that there is a possibility that he needs to wear spectacles if his eye condition get worsen. Gor Gor loves to read and he would spend many hours reading and as a result, his myopia got worst and now he has to wear spectacles. Our concern is to help him to slow down and prevent it from getting worst.
One of the speakers was Dr Gerard Nah who is the Medical Director for W Eye Clinic. He spoke on what childhood myopia is and the use of Atropine eye drops.
Atropine eye drops is one of the new alternatives to slow down myopia progression for children. He will also touch on steps for lifestyle habits that parents can take to prevent myopia progression in kids. Here are the steps, take a break after 30 minutes of near work, have adequate lighting, make sure your reading distance is at least 30 cm and have a good posture. Most importantly encourage your children to go outdoors to play.
Please click this link to read more about childhood myopia and how to prevent it by Health Promotion Board.
Dr Nah is a qualified eye surgeon with over 20 years of experience and also the founder of the Vision Performance Centre for the Singapore Armed Forces.
Next speaker was Mr Chew Wai Kwong who is the manager at W Optics will discuss on alternatives that parents can take if they are cautious about side effects from the use of Atropine. These include Ortho-K lenses which are to put on at night to slow down myopia progression, how to choose the right pair of frames for infants to teenagers and the different things to look out for when selecting the child’s first pair of frames and sun care for children’s eyes. Mr Chew is a veteran in eye care with keen interest in the area of myopia control.
Goodnews! If the above topics are of concern to you and your children. W Optics will be having a Myopia Forum on the above dates. This is an opportunity to see to the above experts and find out more about this pressing concern for most Singaporean parents.