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Myopia, also known as nearsightedness or shortsightedness, is a condition that many people are familiar with. It causes distant objects to appear blurry while closer objects are clearer. For instance, your child may have difficulty seeing the smart board in class and may have been moved to the front of the classroom.

For many years, having myopia was considered normal, but research suggests that it can pose a significant risk to a child's long-term eye health and vision. Therefore, it is essential to manage myopia and prevent it from progressing to more severe conditions that may cause vision loss.


Myopia is not just a condition that causes blurry vision. It occurs when the eyeball elongates too much from front to back, causing light entering the eye to focus in front of the retina. The growth of the eyeball starts during childhood, and we often see a significant increase as children enter their first decade of life and approach their late teenage years.

Myopia can be classified into various types based on their severity - low, moderate, high, progressive, or pathologic. Unfortunately, the prevalence and incidence of all forms of myopia are increasing.


The prevalence of myopia is not only increasing in certain regions of the world, but globally, at an alarming rate. Over the past 20 years, there has been a significant increase in myopia rates, with studies estimating that approximately 40% of the global population currently experiences myopia.

Based on current patterns, the World Health Organization projects that by 2050, almost half of the world's population, a staggering 5 billion people, could be affected by myopia.


Many people are not aware that myopia can be a dangerous condition. Several studies have shown strong evidence that myopia significantly increases the risk of ocular complications that may cause vision loss as children grow into adulthood. These complications include earlier onset of cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment, and myopic maculopathy.

Of all these complications, myopic maculopathy can arguably be the most harmful. This is because the continuous elongation of the eye leads to excessive stretching of the retina, resulting in thinning and increased fragility of the tissue. In fact, research has shown myopia to be the second leading cause of blindness globally, coming in only behind cataracts.

Myopia is a significant public health concern in many parts of the world, particularly in Southeast Asia. However, it is rapidly spreading globally and becoming a concern in other regions as well. Unfortunately, current trends suggest that myopia rates are not slowing down anytime soon and may even be getting worse. Therefore, it is crucial to address this issue and take steps towards myopia management to prevent further progression and related ocular complications.


Myopia management is a specialized area of optometry focused on slowing the progression of myopia in children. This discipline encompasses a range of services and advanced methods aimed at achieving optimal results while also ensuring that patients have clear, comfortable, and efficient binocular vision, as well as good ocular health.

At Precision Eye Care, Dr. Natalie Chai has the training and experience necessary to provide your child with personalized myopia management treatment. Traditional glasses and contact lenses only compensate for blurry vision, but they do not address ocular health concerns associated with myopia, as other methods have been shown to do in the literature.

Small Child with Large Glasses

Myopia Management Starts With Parent(s)

Children may not recognize vision problems and changes, which makes it the responsibility of parents and secondary caregivers, such as teachers, to observe any signs and maintain routine eye examination visits with a family optometrist.

Regular comprehensive eye exams for children are crucial in ensuring that their vision is developing within a normal range for their stage of development. It is recommended that children should have yearly eye exams in the province of Alberta. Early detection and intervention are key when it comes to treating any general health condition, including myopia, so it's essential to initiate proper treatment in a timely manner.

Optical Glasses


Myopia has a variety of causes, some of which are determined by nature (such as genetics) and others by nurture (such as lifestyle habits). Both factors play a role in the development and progression of myopia.

Nature describes factors that we cannot control, but understanding these factors can help with risk analysis for the child. Nurture, on the other hand, refers to the factors that we can control, such as diet, behavior, and lifestyle habits, and we can take steps to address them in a child's everyday life. By addressing these factors, we can potentially reduce the risk of myopia development and progression.


Genetics/Family History

Research shown that the risk of myopia in children increases when one or both parents are myopic. If one parent is myopic, there is a 25% chance that their child will develop myopia. However, if both parents are myopic, that risk doubles to 50%. Therefore, it's essential for parents who are myopic to pay close attention to their child's vision and consider myopia management options to reduce the risk of myopia progression


Less Time Spent Outdoors

Recent studies have suggested that a lack of exposure to natural sunlight is associated with an increased prevalence of myopia. Sunlight plays a crucial role in the regulation of eye growth and can help prevent the onset and progression of myopia. Therefore, it's important for children to spend time outdoors in natural light to support healthy eye development. Additionally, limiting screen time and taking regular breaks from near work activities, such as reading or using electronic devices, can also help reduce the risk of myopia progression.


Increased Screen Time

Studies have shown that school-aged children who spend seven or more hours per week using computers or playing mobile video games may triple their risk for myopia. This is because prolonged near work, such as reading or using electronic devices, can lead to eye strain and fatigue, which may contribute to the development and progression of myopia. Therefore, it's important to limit screen time for children and encourage them to take frequent breaks to rest their eyes. Additionally, encouraging outdoor activities and physical exercise can also help reduce the risk of myopia development.



Multiple studies have investigated the relationship between ethnicity and myopia, and the findings suggest that ethnicity is a strong predictor of myopia. Specifically, East/Southeast and South Asian children are at a higher risk for myopia and tend to experience faster myopia progression compared to white children. These ethnic differences may be related to genetic and environmental factors, including lifestyle, diet, and education. Therefore, it's important to consider these factors when developing myopia management strategies for different populations.

Optical Glasses


  • Myopia (Nearsightedness)
    This refractive error makes it difficult seeing distant objects, but can see objects that are nearby. The reason is generally because the length of the eye is too long and the focal point of light rays lands in front of the retina making objects appear blurry. This can be corrected optically using prescription spectacles and contact lenses. Myopia is becoming a genuine public health concern globally as by 2050, it is estimated that 50% of the world's population will have some form of myopia. As an individual's myopia increases, it places them at a higher risk to develop potentially blinding conditions in their adulthood such as retinal detachment, maculopathy, and early cataract formation. We are now living in an era where there are many different options to address this pandemic that manages the progression of myopia in our children. Trifecta Optometry is proud to be a clinic that recognizes this disease and places high value in managing it for our patients. Click here to learn more about Myopia Management
  • Hyperopia (Farsightedness)
    Simply, it is theoretically the opposite to myopia. One has the ability to see objects in the distance, however can struggle to read at near. Depending on how high the prescription is, one may be functional unaided, while others may require prescription spectacles part time typically with near work, and others may need them full time for all distances. In this case, the length of the eye is generally too short and the focal point of light rays lands behind the retina making objects appear blurry.
  • Astigmatism
    This is a common vision condition that can contribute to blurry vision. However rather than experiencing blurriness at one distance, it is usually at every distance. Most astigmatism originates from an irregular corneal shape causing light to be dispersed in multiple directions causing the visual obscuration. In other scenarios, the astigmatism can come from the lens of the eye as well. It can be corrected by prescription spectacles and contact lenses.
  • Presbyopia
    This is a natural effect of aging, usually occurring after the age of 40. This is a phenomenon in which the ability to focus on close objects decreases over time and can occur simultaneously and in addition to one's existing refractive error. Left uncorrected, it can cause difficulty with intermediate and near work requiring more light and at times can cause headaches. The need for reading glasses or bifocals and progressive lenses will be necessary to correct.
  • Cataracts
    As we age, the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. The process is typically gradual and one may be asymptomatic initially, however as they continue to progress, there are many symptoms that can affect the quality of vision. This can include: Blurry or foggy vision Difficulty with night time driving Difficulty with near vision Increased halos, glare, starburst around lights Fading colours Early signs generally start at the age of 60 and once it becomes visually significant, surgical removal will be necessary with the replacement of an implantable intraocular lens.
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
    In individuals with uncontrolled blood sugar levels, it can cause changes to the tissues of the eye. Many changes can occur including the development of new blood vessels, white blood cells, swelling and leakage of fluid in the retina only to name a few. These episodes can cause immediate to long term changes to vision including: Spots or floaters in vision Distortion around objects Decreased vision Darkened areas of vision
  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration
    This is the leading cause of vision loss among the older population. The macula, the portion of the eye responsible for clear central vision, undergoes a slow deterioration of the tissue as the disease progresses. This causes the central part of the vision to blur and/or distort while sparing your peripheral vision. Some of the early symptoms may include: Blurry and decreased central vision Straights lines may seem bent and distorted Difficulty seeing fine details
  • Glaucoma
    Glaucoma is also known as the "silent killer of sight". It is a disease that starts with almost no symptoms for the individual; once it becomes noticeable, a considerable amount of damage has already been done. Glaucoma is a disease that causes the gradual thinning of the thickness of the tissues of the optic nerve head. At times, high intraocular eye pressure may be associated with the disease however a majority of the time, it is not the case. There are also numerous subtypes of glaucoma as well. Eventually in the disease's end stage, it causes significant peripheral vision loss eventually into tunnel vision. Some symptoms may include: Perception of becoming more clumsy Difficulty shoulder checking when driving Eye pain Redness Headache
  • Dry Eye Disease
    Living in one of the dryest major cities in Canada, Edmonton's environment certainly contributes to the symptoms of Dry Eye Disease. It is simply more than the eye not producing enough tears - in fact, that is typically not the reason for the majority of individuals suffering from Dry Eye. Dry Eye Disease is a multifactorial disease that starts gradually and can compound to the point of causing a negative impact to someone's day-to-day activities. Some of the symptoms can include: Foreign body sensation in the eye Constant red eyes Burning or stinging eyes Itchy eyes Sensitivity to light Fluctuation in vision
  • Keratoconus
    In keratoconus, the cornea begins to thin and gradually bulges outward into a cone shape. This can cause blurry and distorted vision. It generally begins at puberty and progresses into the mid-30s. It typically affects both eyes, with one eye being more severely affected than the other. In the early to mild stages, it can be corrected optically with prescription spectacles and contact lenses, however in the moderate to severe stages, more aggressive treatments may require surgical intervention. As with many eye conditions, early detection is key.
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