Myopia Center


Did you know?

The prevalence of Myopia among Indian urban children is predicted to increase from 20% in 2020 to about 48% by 2050.

2 out of 10 children (20%) in India are known to have rapid myopia progression.

About 4% of Indian myopes tend to have complications that can lead to permanent vision loss. These complications include a higher risk of developing an early cataract, glaucoma, macular degeneration and retinal detachment later in life.

What is Myopia?

Myopia is a medical term for short-sightedness or near-sightedness. A person with myopia can clearly see objects close to the eye, but he/she will have difficulty seeing objects that are far from the eye. It is a serious public health concern of the 21st century and is projected to affect approximately half of the global population (5 billion) by 2050. Additionally, there will be 1 billion at risk of developing myopia-related complications that have the potential to lead to visual loss.

Madurai Eye Center (MEC) is one of the very few centers in the world to have a dedicated Myopia Center. The Myopia Center is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, the centre provides holistic and evidence-based anti-myopia treatment to prevent the onset of myopia and reduce its progression in children and young adults.

What are the chances of your child developing myopia?

  • With one or both parents being myopic, a child has a higher risk of myopia
  • Reading in dim illumination
  • Doing a near task such as reading a small font for a long time, sewing or using digital platforms (mobile phone/ ipad), especially holding the phone or tablet close to the eyes for an extended duration
  • Recent research has also indicated that less time outdoors can also trigger myopia
  • If you wear prescription glasses of lower power than required

How can one prevent myopia?

  • Annual eye examination for your children
  • Avoid prolonged near work
  • Spend at least 60-90 minutes in natural light (sunlight)
  • Use good lighting for reading
  • Take a break at regular intervals while performing a near task

When will myopia occur?

  • Children over 5 years are at risk of being affected by myopia
  • Myopia is commonly caused due to unstable growth of the eyes
  • In younger children, myopia progresses more quickly because their eyes are growing at a faster rate, leading to higher levels of myopia, thicker glasses and more risk of vision loss

How will I know if my child is affected by myopia?

  • Cannot see the blackboard/whiteboard from the last bench at the school
  • Holding books, tablets and mobiles close to the face
  • Sitting too close to watch television
  • Squinting/ squeezing eyes to read or see objects that are far away from the eye

What are the symptoms of Myopia?

The most obvious symptom of myopia is blurry vision when you look at faraway objects. Children may have trouble seeing the black or whiteboard at school.
Other symptoms may include:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue in eye
  • Squinting
  • Abnormal head postures
  • Rubbing eyes

Risk factors

There are various eye pathologies that can lead to myopia, but the most common type is caused by the rapid elongation of the eyeball. There are a few well-known risk factors for this.


Myopia tends to run in the family. If one of the parents is myopic, the risk of the child developing the condition is doubled. The risk of myopia is eight times more if both parents of the child are myopic.


Environmental factors play a crucial role in myopia development. Lack of outdoor activities and excessive near work like reading and playing on electronic devices exposes one to a higher risk of developing myopia.

Myopia Complications

Other than the inconvenience of having to wear spectacles/contact lenses for clear vision, myopia can also increase your risk of developing eye disorders later in life. Such conditions include retina tears/detachment, cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration.
One should seek medical advice should they experience a sudden increase in floaters, the onset of flashes, seeing straight lines becoming wavy (metamorphopsia) or myopia that continues to increase very quickly even in adulthood.

The table shows the increasing risk relative to the myopic degree of your eyes. High myopia increases the risks of certain eye diseases exponentially.


Retinal tear/detachment

The retina is a light-sensitive layer of tissue in the innermost layer of the eye that is important for vision. When one has myopia, the elongation results in a thinner retina. This puts the eye at greater risk of developing a retinal tear, hole or detachment. Retinal detachment requires urgent treatment to reattach the detached layer, as this may cause permanent loss of vision in the affected eye.


Cataract refers to the clouding of one’s crystalline lens in the eye. It is a condition that will naturally happen with age but being myopic causes it to occur earlier. Early signs of cataract include increased glare at night as well as significant changes in spectacle power. Cataract can be removed through surgery if appropriate.


Severe myopia increases the risk of developing glaucoma. If left untreated, it can cause blindness.

Macular degeneration

Macula is the central part of the retina that provides the clearest vision. Increased axial length in high myopia may lead to mechanical stretching and thinning of the retinal layers with vascular and degenerative changes.

Myopic Choroidal Neovascularisation (CNV)

Myopic CNV occurs when abnormal new blood vessels grow beneath the retina. This new blood vessel can leak or bleed very easily, causing a sudden loss of vision. This condition is potentially blinding if not treated. Multiple eye injections may be required to treat this condition.

Macular Hole

As previously mentioned, the macula is an area which is crucial for clear vision. When a hole occurs at the macula, vision is usually affected. Common complaints include blurred and distorted vision. Surgery is required for this condition.


With current evidence-based treatments available that have shown efficacy in slowing down the progression of myopia, we use environmental, optical and pharmacological myopia control strategies in our myopia centre. Our myopia care team would thoroughly evaluate your child before discussing and advising you on the most appropriate treatment option.

There are various myopia control methods :

  • Outdoor exposure
  • Optical aids
  • Contact lens
  • Medications


Different glass options have been tried over time. In general, myopia-control glasses are

  • Relatively safe (can be worn instead of standard glasses)
  • Cost more than ‘normal’ glasses
  • May have blur zones but are usually well tolerated by children

Contact lenses

Contact lenses (CL) are corrective lenses placed onto the surface of the eye and are worn to correct refractive errors instead of glasses or refractive surgeries. Contact lenses can have two main functions in myopia: refractive error correction and myopia control.

  • 10-20% of children may not be able to tolerate wearing contact lenses
  • Contact lens users are at risk of complications including cornea (front surface of the eye) abrasions and infections of the cornea (infective keratitis)
  • Symptoms of infection include eye redness, eye pain, blurring of vision and white spots on the cornea. Severe infections can result in corneal scarring and affect vision.
  • Likely less suitable for very young children or children with sensitive eyes, recurrent lid infections and/or poor hygiene


One of the treatments for myopia is atropine eye drops. Many studies have shown a significant rate of slowing down the progression of myopia in children and their use is gaining popularity. It is one of the more effective methods to slow down the progression with few side effects.

Young children of age six to eight years old with myopia are more prone to rapid progression. Atropine eye drop slow down the progression of myopia in about 50% to 60% of children for low-dose atropine 0.01%.

However, myopia progression may still occur in some children, and if rapid, they may then need to be converted to a higher dose of atropine. Unfortunately, in 10% of children, myopia may continue to progress rapidly even with the higher-dose atropine.

Atropine treatment requires patients to be committed and motivated. Results from atropine may take time to show results therefore it will require close monitoring half yearly. The treatment regimen requires patients or parents to administer one drop of 0.01% atropine, daily, in each eye.

Atropine eye drops

Atropine eye drops have been used since the 1970s to treat myopic progression.

  1. In general, there is a dose-related response (i.e., higher doses have a greater effect)
  2. Lower doses cause much less pupil dilation and therefore less near blur and glare. Children on the very lowest doses often experience little or no side effects. Children on a higher dose may require glasses with a reading add and tint.
  3. The most common other side-effect is allergy (1-4%).

Lower doses are also associated with less rebound effect when stopped, whereas those on high-dose atropine require a slow taper and should not be stopped suddenly.

  1. Many children will respond well to lower doses, but some need higher doses. 10% of children may have a poor response to even the highest dose of atropine.
  2. Different children may also need different doses or dose frequencies at different times of their lives.

Myopia Center

At Myopia Center, we help you tackle myopia in 3 easy steps

1. Prevention

Small changes can make big differences.

Simple lifestyle modifications can delay the onset of myopia in young children, like going outdoors!

2. Management

Detect and intervene early for better outcomes.

Myopia progression in high-risk children is controlled and monitored from 6 years of age to prevent further complications in adulthood.

3. Education

Be myopia savvy – how to tackle this issue.

Public awareness is enhanced through our myopia prevention and control education campaigns, patient counselling, and digital solutions.

Patient Care

Madurai Eye Center provides a holistic and comprehensive one-stop hub like no other that is dedicated to serving you with clarity, comfort and convenience.
Our eye care professionals are readily available to share their expertise and answer your queries at every point – from start to end. They will be accompanying you through a detailed eye exam, diagnosis, counselling and evidence-based treatment at every stage of your consultation.

We do these and more because we don’t just believe in addressing myopia when it happens. We believe in prevention and education, and in impacting lives through better sight. By tackling myopia together with innovation and awareness, you will be one step closer to a better vision.

Here’s how it works

3 Simple Steps

For an easy, fuss-free and convenient patient experience, upon your arrival:

Step 1 – Vision Assessment

  1. Refraction test – A baseline check for vision and eye prescription
  2. Squint test – Examining for any misalignment in your eyes, inwards or outwards
  3. Amblyopia assessment – Screen for any possible ‘lazy eye’

Step 2 – In-Depth Evaluation

  1. Slit-lamp exam – Your eye is examined to spot any corneal abnormalities, cataracts, retinopathy and more
  2. Indirect Ophthalmoscopy – To check the periphery of your retina
  3. Imaging and detailed scans – We go in-depth with diagnostic tests, such as corneal topography, fundus photography and optical coherence tomography.

Step 3 – Comprehensive Evaluation

  1. Discussion – We keep you fully informed with updates on your review and analysis of assessment and scans
  2. Advice – We provide guidance on myopia management or any other pathological management or treatments
  3. Education – We inform you about vision care methods and advice you on your medication frequency. We keep you updated on the latest clinical knowledge on myopia

Holistic. Integrated. Seamless.

These are the pillars on which we are built. They drive us to continuously explore and examine myopia research, innovation, technology and development. Supplemented with our clinical expertise, our services fully support patients in every way possible through safe, reliable and effective treatments.

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