As part of National Eye Health Week (September 18-24) BBR Optometry wants to remind patients and members of the wider community about the importance of preventing myopic development which can lead to sight-threatening conditions.
Earlier this year the Hereford-based practice became one of the first practices in the UK to offer MiSight, a revolutionary new contact lens clinically proven to reduce myopic development and ensure patients have healthy eyes well into the future.
Already more than 10 BBR Optometry patients are benefiting from these new lenses developed by world-class research optometrist Paul Chamberlain, who is originally from Hereford himself and is now Head of Research at world-leading contact lens manufacturers Coopervision.
Nick Black, BBR’s contact lens specialist, explains: “Not only do we offer the best eye care to look after your eyes now but these new lenses mean we can now also reduce myopia development in children, limiting the risk of future problems which could threaten their sight.
“Many people think myopia isn’t a major problem as it can be controlled by spectacles, prescription contact lenses or laser surgery but with the national focus on eye health throughout this awareness week, I want to take the opportunity to remind people about the underlying medical problems that potentially affect myopic people throughout their lifetime.
“These include structural abnormalities such as glaucoma, retinal degeneration, tears and detachments alongside the possibility of loss of central vision by myopic macular degeneration. Tragically, any of these conditions are potentially blinding.
“MiSight lens has been shown to slow the progress of myopia (shortsightedness) by up to 60% over two years and, with myopia is predicted to affect around 56% of Europe’s population by 2050, I am pleased we can now protect the next generation,” he added.
BBR Optometry has been at the forefront of developing and offering strategies for myopia control working on the best interpretation of the available information. For example, by using “Overnight Vision Correction” (OVC) or ortho-keratology, BBR has been able to offer an increased likelihood of the slowing down of myopic progression.
However, the ever-increasing numbers of people with myopia has been puzzling optometrists, ophthalmologists and public health medicine for some time and there is still no clear reason why myopic development occurs.
Nick adds: “Due to the enormous benefits these lenses offer, we are encouraging a pro-active approach in fitting children of all ages to catch myopia in the early stages as this offers the best possible outcomes. This is not an approach that can be dipped in and out of because, once started, there is a commitment to maintain therapy and management.
“There is no limit or barrier to the age of children who are can be fitted with contact lenses and they can be fitted to children as young as five years old. It has been shown that children are very responsive to maintaining good habits and hygiene when fitted from an early age.
“The lenses are also not available on the NHS but only on a planned monthly payment programme which includes all professional examination and fitting fees plus the supply of the unique and revolutionary product.
“So if your child has myopia please make an appointment now to see how MiSight can make a real difference to their future,” he added.
The fitting and supply of contact lenses is highly regulated and not permitted by any other than registered optometrists, contact lens opticians and doctors. Please note the fitting and supply of MiSight will require a signed informed consent procedure.