Short-sightedness in children is a common vision correction issue in the UK, with nearly one in five teenagers being short-sighted, and faster progression reported to be occurring in pre-teens. Short-sightedness has now been classed as an epidemic, as it is predicted that half the global population will be short-sighted by 2050.
Did you know that the consequences of being short sighted go beyond immediate vision challenges, though? Let’s look at how this can affect your child and what can be done about it.
What is short-sightedness?
Clinically known as myopia, short-sightedness is when the eyeball grows too long, so light focuses in front of the retina at the back of the eye, rather than on it. This causes objects in the distance to appear blurry.
Consequently, you may notice that your child sits closer to the TV, computer, or laptop to see the screen clearly. They may also complain of headaches, their teacher might see them squinting to see the board, and you may notice them rubbing their eyes frequently.
Consequences of myopia in children
Children are at greater risk of developing myopia if one or both parents have it too.
Studies also indicate that the reason more and more children are developing myopia is because of the amount of time they spend indoors doing close up activities, like looking at their smartphones or tablets for prolonged periods of time each day. This means that myopia has become more prevalent in children, regardless of whether their parents have it or not.
Myopia can continue to worsen in children until their eyes stop growing at around the age of 20. The more severe your child’s myopia becomes, the greater their risk of developing sight-threatening eye diseases in adulthood, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and retinal detachments, as well as earlier development of cataracts.
This means it is of the utmost importance to get their myopia stabilised as early as possible to protect their vision.
Controlling myopia in children
At The Optical Co., we are fully accredited to provide two clinically proven, revolutionary methods for slowing down the progression of myopia in children: glasses for shortsightedness fitted with Stellest lenses and MiSight 1 day soft contact lenses for kids.
These lenses are specially designed with concentric rings containing 1021 invisible lenslets that create a signal in the child's eye to shield them against eye elongation. When worn for 12 hours a day, Stellest lenses slow down myopia progression by 67% on average, when compared to standard single-vision glasses lenses.
If your child is already short-sighted, they will be used to wearing glasses, which means there will be minimal adaptation to wearing glasses fitted with Stellest lenses.
MiSight 1-day contact lenses use ActivControl® Technology, which consists of 2 zones on the lenses to correct myopia like standard lenses, as well as 2 special treatment zones that create something called myopic defocus over the entire retina. This is what helps slow down myopia progression by 50% on average when these lenses are worn for at least 10 hours a day.
MiSight 1-day soft contact lenses are hygienic, as they are thrown away at the end of every day, provide freedom without glasses to match children’s active lives, and are easy for them to put in, with 90% of children aged 8-15 years old saying they could do it on their own, and preferred wearing these contact lenses to glasses.
Want to learn more?
If your child is short-sighted and you want to take the all-important step to protect their future vision and eye health, please contact our opticians in Cobham to discuss their options and book an eye exam to get their eyes checked beforehand if needed.