Childhood Myopia… a health epidemic parents should be looking closer at

By Marnie Adams, Contributor @ Kids In Perth 21 Sep 2021

concept vision testing. child  girl with eyeglasses at the doctor ophthalmologist

By 2050, according to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Ophthalmology, 50% of the world’s population will be affected by myopia or short sightedness. According to ABS statistics, currently 36% of Australians are predicted to be myopic, numbers are expected to rise and reflect anticipated global trends.

Why should we look closer into this growing, alarming health epidemic? What does it mean for your child?

Myopia, short-sightedness or nearsightedness eye disorder is due to the structure of your eye being too long or the cornea being too curved which results in the light entering your eye not focusing correctly onto the retina in the back of the eye.

This is corrected but not cured with prescription glasses, contact lenses and possibly LASIK in adulthood.

Unfortunately, myopia never gets better, it worsens over time so parents can only manage their child’s myopia as best as possible. If unchecked, childhood myopia leads to increased risk of adult eyesight issues including tears in the retina due to eyeball elongation (Myopic Macular Degeneration), retinal detachments, cataracts and open angle glaucoma.

Ortho K & managing childhood myopia

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One way to manage myopia in children is to use overnight orthokeratology.

What is Orthokeratology or Ortho K as it’s commonly known? They’re specially designed and fitted rigid contact lenses that apply enough pressure to temporarily reshape the cornea and slow the elongation of the eyeball. Imagine how braces reshape the mouth and teeth, this does the same for eyes.

 

Children as young as six can wear these contact lenses while they’re asleep. The next day, they can go without glasses in many cases. Ortho K isn’t a perfect solution because children have to develop good hygiene habits to keep contact lenses clean to avoid infection and initially get used to wearing these lenses but it’s usually a small price to pay. The Children benefit as adults by having reduced rates of eye diseases associated with myopia as well as lower levels of myopia than if they had just used normal spectacles.

In a long-term follow up study of American children that received overnight Ortho K correction between January 1998 and December 2013, Ortho K was found to be effective and safe in slowing down the myopia in children. Read the study here.

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Perth's Ortho K pioneers 

Have questions about your child’s myopia answered by local Perth experts in Ortho K therapy, Dr. Geoff Cooper, and the team at Cooper & Lourie Family Optometrists.

Dr. Geoff Cooper and Dr Julie Lourie, founders of Cooper & Lourie Family Optometrists, have been serving Perth families for over 40 years and fitting Ortho-K lenses for the last 15 years.

Both principals were among the initial pioneers to use this therapy to treat Perth children and continually follow research into this field.

 

If you have any questions about Ortho K for your child, find everything you need to make an appointment below. Alternatively, simply start a direct conversation with the helpful team at Cooper & Lourie Family Optometrists using the facebook Messenger chat to the right of the screen.

Kids In Perth Offer | save on family optometry

Our friends at Cooper & Lourie Family Optometrists have kindly provided an offer for any parent looking into Ortho-K for their child. Click the button below to book a FREE Assessment.

FREE Ortho-K Assessment Mention when booking

Offer Details:

  • Free assessment to see if your child is suitable for Ortho K overnight contact lenses.
  • Book for an appointment at either Nedlands or Innaloo practice.

Asian girl use mobile phone and rubbing her eyes

5 Tips for Healthy Eyes | from Dr Geoff

Dr Geoff from Cooper & Lourie Family Optometrists gives advice on how to keep your child's eyesight sharp.

  • Take regular breaks from prolonged close work.
  • Limit time spent looking at screens.
  • Have regular eye examinations (at least every two years)
  • Eat a healthy diet including more fruit vegetables and fatty fish
  • Encourage kids to play outside.

Social Feed | find out more

Kids In Perth Offer | save on family optometry

FREE Ortho-K Assessment Mention when booking

Offer Details:

  • Free assessment to see if your child is suitable for Ortho K overnight contact lenses.
  • Book for an appointment at either Nedlands or Innaloo practice.

Kids In Perth Tip (KIP TIP): Start direct, personal conversations using the forms and facebook messenger widget. Yellow messenger widget on left to get in touch with Kids In Perth and widget on right with the mentioned business/organisation.

Young girl stand still while undergoing eye test with phoropter.

Locations

Cooper & Lourie Family Optometrists (Nedlands)
Broadway Fair Shopping Centre, 88 Broadway Crawley WA 6009

Opening Hours

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Fridays | 8.30am-5.30pm
Thursday | 8.30am - 7pm
Saturday | 8.30am-4pm
Sunday | CLOSED

 

Cooper & Lourie Family Optometrists (Innaloo)
Westfield Innaloo Shopping Centre, Shop 1126 Ellen Stirling Blvd, Innaloo WA 6018

Opening Hours

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Fridays | 8.30am-5.30pm
Thursday | 8.30am - 7pm
Saturday | 8.30am-5pm
Sunday | CLOSED

 

Get organised | book appointment here

Find everything you need here to get advice or to book an appointment.

Contact Details | get in touch

Cooper&Lourie logo
concept vision testing. child  girl with eyeglasses at the doctor ophthalmologist

Cooper & Lourie Family Optometrists (Innaloo)
Westfield Innaloo Shopping Centre, Shop 1126 Ellen Stirling Blvd, Innaloo WA 6018

Opening Hours

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Fridays | 8.30am-5.30pm
Thursday | 8.30am - 7pm
Saturday | 8.30am-5pm
Sunday | CLOSED

 

Cooper & Lourie Family Optometrists (Nedlands)
Broadway Fair Shopping Centre, 88 Broadway Crawley WA 6009

Opening Hours

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Fridays | 8.30am-5.30pm
Thursday | 8.30am - 7pm
Saturday | 8.30am-4pm
Sunday | CLOSED

 

For Emergencies (A/H Mobile) 0412 911 729

Other Optometry concerns | Read More

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