What is Myopia?
Why is my child’s vision blurry for distant objects?
Nearsightedness or myopia makes it difficult to see things across the room or far away. If your child is unable to see objects that are far away clearly, they are referred to as nearsighted or having myopia.
Myopia often occurs because the eyeball grows too long during childhood. Squinting eyes, headaches, eye strain and eye fatigue maybe symptoms of myopia. But it’s important to keep in mind that some children may never complain of any symptoms and that is why early childhood eye exams are greatly encouraged. Early childhood eye exams will ensure that your child’s vision problems (if any) are detected early, and treated properly.
Why is my child nearsighted?
Your child may have myopia because of genetics or lifestyle factors. Children whose parents are nearsighted have a higher risk of being nearsighted.
Myopia (nearsightedness) typically begins in childhood and although it may stabilize, it can continue to progress with age. Children who spend time indoors, close-up activities or hobbies (such as reading, gaming, electronics, hand-held devices, phones, etc.) may have a higher risk of being nearsighted or having myopia. Low levels of vitamin D intake because of poor lighting, reduced time spent outdoors can also increase the risk of myopia.
Myopia is a Growing Trend
Myopia is a major concern, as it is predicted that about 1.5 billion people worldwide are nearsighted. Some countries in Asia, have up to 80% of their population having myopia. And in the U.S. the prevalence of myopia is about 42%.
Even more concerning, is that the rate of myopia is increasing rapidly globally. And it is estimated by the year 2050, roughly half the world population will be nearsighted.
What can I do to control my child’s Myopia?
With more children becoming nearsighted, the growing interest in finding ways to control myopia has increased and we have several options that will help your child slow down their myopia’s progression.
One option is MiSight Contact lenses – MiSight contact lenses are a 1 day contact lens that can:
- Correct distance vision immediately.
- Can slow myopia progression during the growing years.
- Provide a comfortable experience.
- Allow you to avoid the worry of losing or breaking glasses.
- Accommodate a more active lifestyle.
- Children who wear contact lenses have significantly better quality of life than kids wearing glasses, especially regarding athletics and appearance.
Why should I consider slowing down my child’s myopia?
Depending on the severity of your child’s myopia (which ranges from mild to high), they risk the following complications:
- Glaucoma – This condition tends to be more common among adults, although it can still occur at any age. Left untreated, glaucoma can lead to blindness.
- Cataract – Cataracts are the clouding of the lens, resulting in impaired vision. Those who suffer from high levels of myopia are three times more likely to suffer this condition later in life.
- Vision Impairment – Overall, those suffering from high levels of myopia have a 34% higher chance of experiencing some form of vision impairment.
Because of the stretching that occurs with retinal tissue, it makes sense that these patients are at significantly higher risk of retinal detachments, glaucoma, and a host of other ocular diseases later in life, in addition to overall worsening vision.
The severity of the conditions would depend on the level of myopia, which ranges from mild to high. Mild levels of myopia can triple the risk of retinal detachment while moderate levels of myopia can increase by as much as nine times. High levels of myopia are the most worrying as it can result in serious eye conditions later in life.
Is my child a candidate for MiSight Contact Lenses?
To learn more about myopia control treatment options, schedule your appointment today.
*Indications for use: MiSight® 1 day (omafilcon A) soft (hydrophilic) contact lenses for daily wear are indicated for the correction of myopic ametropia and for slowing the progression of myopia in children with nondiseased eyes, who at the initiation of treatment are 8-12 years of age and have a refraction of -0.75 to -4.00 diopters (spherical equivalent) with ≤ 0.75 diopters of astigmatism. The lens is to be discarded after each removal. 1. Compared to a single vision 1 day lens over a 3 year period. Chamberlain P, et al. A 3-year randomized clinical trial of MiSight® lenses for myopia control. Optom Vis Sci. 2019; 96(8):556-567. 2. Flitcroft DI. The complex interactions of retinal, optical and environmental factors in myopia aetiology. Prog Retin Eye Res. 2012;31:622-60. 3. Vitale S, Sperduto RD, Ferris FL. Increased Prevalence of Myopia in the United States Between 1971-1972 and 1999-2004. Arch Ophthalmol. 2009;127(12):1632–1639. doi:10.1001/archophthalmol.2009.303 4. Tideman JWL, Snabel MCC, Tedja MS, et al. Association of Axial Length With Risk of Uncorrectable Visual Impairment for Europeans With Myopia. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2016;134(12):1355–1363. ©2020 CooperVision. 9120 03/20