EyeTools Optometry Skills

96. Predicting myopia

Can I predict if a child will become myopic?

I’ve become more interested in myopia in the last 6 months than I have ever been before. This is probably due to a combination of four factors. A visit to colleagues in Singapore, a greater awareness of the number of people with myopia, a greater awareness of the pathological conditions associated with high myopia (above -6.00 DS) and more time to think.

A recent clinical article I read (by a clinical article I mean writing that may contain a piece of information that is useful in clinical practice) contained three pieces of useful information that I can use when I’m working with people who are in danger of becoming myopic.

Firstly, good research has shown that a very good predictor of whether a child will go onto become myopic is their refractive error at the age of 6 years old. If they are less than +0.75 DS at the age of 6 years then there is a high chance that the child will become myopic.

Secondly, it is good to examine children at the age of about 6 because if they have a refractive error of +0.75 DS or less their parents can be informed of the high chance of myopia and they can prepare for it psychologically. Parents are more accepting of glasses for their children if they have had time to prepare for that eventuality. Also, parents can be advised to encourage their children to play outside more.

Thirdly, I was very surprised to read that around 50% of myopic parents who were surveyed did not expect their children to become myopic.

My learnings from reading this article are to encourage all parents to have their children examined at the age of around 6 years old and to advise myopic parents that there is a chance that their children will become myopic. If we don’t give this encouragement and advice who will?


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

If you like EyeTools Questions of the Day…

Children’s Eye Examinations
How to Run a Successful Low Vision Clinic
How to Run a Successful Optometry Practice

Get EyeTools Journal : 80+ Expert Optometry Tips & Skills, 3x Weekly!



– Optometry students
– Pre-registration and novice optometrists
– Optometrists returning to work
– Junior eye doctors
– Dispensing opticians and orthoptists preparing for refraction exams
– Contact lens opticians, clinical assistants and eyecare educators

Improve your optometry skills with introductory & specialist instruction videos, topical live & recorded expert webinars, presentations and book reviews.

Start with the first section, ‘Pre-refraction procedures’ free, then choose a monthly or yearly subscription. To see English captions, click the CC button on any video.