What is Myopia and How Can You Manage It?

Myopia is another term for nearsightedness – an eye condition so common that an estimated 5 billion people could be affected by it in 2050, according to the Brien Holden Vision Institute.¹ That’s nearly half the globe – and many of those with myopia are children under ten years old.


If left untreated, myopia can lead to long-term vision problems. Start raising awareness among your patients about myopia, especially your patients who are parents or grandparents. Below, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about myopia – and explain how to start managing it early.


What is Myopia?

Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is when someone can see up close but struggles to see things far away.


It occurs when the eye grows too fast and becomes too long relative to the focusing power of the cornea and lens of the eye, or the cornea is too curved and thick. This causes light rays to focus in front of the retina instead of on it.


Myopia is often hereditary. Increased near-work activities, including screen time, and less time outdoors are also considered risk factors for myopia development and progression.²


Myopia vs. hyperopia


Your patients may need a quick differentiation between these two. While myopia is the condition of nearsightedness, hyperopia is the condition of farsightedness. Meaning, objects can be seen clearly far away, while objects up close are blurry.


The varying levels of myopia

Myopia exists on various levels. Here’s a refresher on the technical understanding of pre-myopia, low myopia, and high myopia.


  • Pre-myopia: When the spherical equivalent of refraction of a child's eye is between ≤ +0.75 D and > -0.50 D. This condition, along with their age, refraction history and other quantifiable risk factors, can indicate the increased likelihood of developing myopia in the future. Therefore, preventative interventions may be warranted to address pre-myopia.³
  • Low myopia: when the spherical equivalent refraction (SER) is between ≤ -0.50D and >-6.00D in the relaxed accommodation condition.
  • High myopia: when the SER is ≤ 6.00D in the relaxed accommodation condition.


Myopia symptoms

The most common myopia symptoms include:

  • Blurred vision when focusing on far-away objects
  • Frequent squinting
  • Eye strain and headaches as a result
  • “Tired” eyes
  • Difficulty driving


Myopia in children

Recently, more kids than ever before are becoming nearsighted, and it can worsen year after year. This can result in high myopia, which can lead to sight-threatening complications. Any level of myopia increases the risk for:


  • Retinal detachment
  • PSC Cataracts
  • Myopic macular degeneration



Myopia often begins between the ages of 6 and 14. Currently, it affects up to 5% of preschoolers, about 9% of school-aged children, and nearly 30% of adolescents.³ A person with one near-sighted parent has three times the risk of developing myopia – or six times the risk if both parents are near-sighted.⁴


Myopia symptoms in children

The symptoms above are common in anyone with nearsightedness. However, it can be difficult to pinpoint when children are dealing with certain vision problems because they typically aren’t sure how to communicate it. Here are some of the most common ways that a child may be demonstrating nearsightedness, or myopia, in some form:


  • Rubbing their eyes
  • Excessive blinking
  • Sitting too close to the TV
  • Frequent clumsiness
  • Complaints of headaches or eye pain
  • Drop in academic performance


Is myopia curable?

The short answer is no. Myopia cannot be reversed or cured – but you can encourage your patients and let them know it is certainly treatable. And if it’s treated early with the proper management protocol, progression can be halted from getting worse.


Why is myopia management so important?

Myopia is critical to address because:


  • It tends to get progressively worse as the child grows unless addressed.
  • Having myopia can increase the risk of having vision-threatening conditions later, like cataracts, glaucoma and retinal detachment.
  • Myopia affects a person's daily quality of life.


That’s why it’s important to identify this eye condition early and work with an optometrist to develop an effective treatment protocol.


How parents can help address myopia

You can tell your patients to encourage their children to take frequent breaks from close-up work, including reading and using computers and other electronic devices. It is recommended that children should not spend more than three hours a day – in addition to school time – on close work such as reading, homework or screen time., and a minimum of 90 minutes of outdoor time daily is key for myopia prevention.


Parents should balance screen time with outdoor time, when possible, to help prevent myopia onset and slow down myopia progression.


HOYA's MiYOSMART: easy-to-use, non-invasive myopia management

HOYA's MiYOSMART is an award-winning solution designed to slow down the progression of myopia in myopic children and adolescents by an average of 60%. Its effectiveness has been clinically proven in a 2-year controlled clinical trial. Three and 6-year follow-up studies showed that the treatment effect was sustained over six years with an average cumulative progression of less than -1.00 diopter and no rebound effect.


MiYOSMART technology allows wearers to enjoy clear vision while controlling their myopia simultaneously.


3 Key Benefits of MiYOSMART

  • It’s easy: MiYOSMART is easy to fit and wear, just like a regular single vision lens. It does not increase chair time; your gold standard optometric procedure is enough to identify and manage patients.
  • It’s effective: During the 6-year follow-up study, the myopia control effect was sustained, and no such adverse event was reported that would have led to discontinuation of the wear.
  • It’s safe: MiYOSMART is non-invasive. With the exclusive non-invasive D.I.M.S. Technology, the lens corrects the visual defect on its entire surface and slows down myopia progression.


¹ Brien Holden Vision Institute. Article at: Prevalence: 50% of the world myopic by 2050.

² Ian G. Morgan, Pei-Chang Wu, Lisa A. Ostrin, J. Willem L. Tideman, Jason C. Yam, Weizhong Lan, Rigmor C. Baraas, Xiangui He, Padmaja Sankaridurg, Seang-Mei Saw, Amanda N. French, Kathryn A. Rose, Jeremy A. Guggenheim; IMI Risk Factors for Myopia. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(5):3. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.62.5.3.

³ Jong, M.; Jonas, J.B.; Wolffsohn, J.S.; Berntsen, D.A.; Cho, P.; Clarkson-Townsend, D.; Flitcroft, D.I.; Gifford, K.L.; Haarman, A.E.; Pardue, M.T.; et al. IMI 2021 Yearly Digest. Investig. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021, 62, 7. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.62.5.7

⁴ ZHANG, X., QU, X. and ZHOU, X., 2015. Association between parental myopia and the risk of myopia in a child. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, 9(6), pp.2420-2428.

⁵ Yoo, S., 2021. Myopia (Nearsightedness) in Children. [online] HealthyChildren.org. Available at: <https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/eyes/Pages/Myopia-Nearsightedness.aspx> [Accessed 22 November 2021].