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You & Eye: S1EP7 29092020 – Contact Lenses For Your Child To Manage Myopia | W OPTICS

Posted on September 29, 2020 under Events Share
*Disclaimer* This program offers health and nutritional information and is for educational and informational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your eye health, you should always consult with a professional. Do not disregard, avoid, or delay obtaining medical or health-related advice from your health-care professional because of something you may have read on this site.

How effective is Misight 1 day contact lenses?

MiSight lenses have proven with an efficacy of 59% in slowing myopia progression and 52% in the slowing of axial length(1). The treatment of myopia in children using MiSight 1 day works by creating myopic defocus via what we refer to as our ActivControl Technology. There is 1 image focused on the retina to give the wearer adequate distance vision correction and 1 image focused in front of the retina for treating the myopia progression. MiSight 1 day is also a simple-to-wear daily disposable contact lens. Importantly, the treatment of myopia using MiSight 1 day contact lenses is consistent regardless of where the child moves their eyes as the contact lens follows the different eye gaze positions.

Furthermore, in November 2019, MiSight 1 day became the first US FDA-approved treatment for slowing myopia progression in children aged between 8 and 12 at the initiation of wear. There are lots of benefits for children to be glasses-free. There is a research paper on the benefits of contact lens for kids and teens and it was concluded that contact lens has significantly improved the quality of life for children and teens when wearing contact lenses compared to spectacles(2). The contact lens wear also dramatically improves how kids and teens feel about their appearance and participation in activities. The study had also suggested that the improvement in the quality of life after contact lens wear indicates that kids should be offered contact lenses as a treatment for refractive errors as routinely as teens.

1. Chamberlain P, et al. A 3-year randomized clinical trial of MiSight® lenses for myopia control. Optom Vis Sci. 2019; 96(8):556-67
2. Walline JJ, Gaume A, Jones LA et al. Benefits of contact lenses. Eye Contact Lens 2007;33(6 Pt1):317-21

Does slowing myopia down helps to protect our future sight?

Myopia, also commonly referred to as near-sightedness or short-sightedness, is a common eye condition where objects viewed at a distance to be blurry and out of focus, while close objects can be viewed more clearly. The blurry vision due to myopia is the result of light rays focusing at a point in front of the retina instead of directly on its surface. Caused by either the eyeball being too long or, the cornea being too curved for the length of the eyeball or even both conditions may coexist together. I have an illustration here to help the audiences to visualize better.

If Myopia is not treated early on, it may cause other more serious eye conditions including cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachment(1). Catching and treating myopia early can slow its progression, reduce the severity of myopia and in turn reduce the associated risks of developing these serious eye conditions. So as mentioned earlier, MiSight 1 day is the world’s first soft contact lens clinically proven to slow myopia progression in children. A simple-to-wear daily disposable contact lens which has a dual function that helps to enable the wearer to see clearly and treating myopia and slowing the progression at the same time.

In research studies and publications, they have cited at almost everyone is at risk of myopia. Based on genetics, even if both parents are not myopic, the child has 22% risk of developing myopia. Depending on either having 1 or 2 parents being myopic, the risks increase to 31% and 46% respectively(3). On the other hand, it is also mostly known that Asians, East & southeast Asians in particular, have a higher risk of developing myopia. Genes are one of the reasons as mentioned. The other reason could be due to environmental factors. There is published research correlating that myopia is linked to the level of education. Of course, not forgetting that the number of times children spends outdoor also contributes to the risk factors(4).

3.Morgan P. Is Myopia Control the Next Contact Lens Revolution? The Optician 2016.
4. He M, Xiang F, Zeng Y, et al. Effect of time spent outdoors at school on the development of myopia among children in China: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2015;314:1142–1148.

What are some specific symptoms or signs that parents can look out for in children who may be myopic or have myopia and are rapidly progressing?

it’s of utmost importance that parents pay close attention to their children if they show the following signs and symptoms: Complaints of headache or tired eyes. Poor quality of schoolwork or results– could be due to the inability to see clearly in class. Sitting close to the TV or monitors. Holding books or digital devices such as tablets/phones very close while reading. Not able to see distant objects. Blink excessively. Frequent rubbing of eyes. Squinting(5, 6). It is strongly recommended that a child goes for eye check regularly and as early as possible. Infants go through eye screenings to ensure normal developments. However, after passing this stage, eye checks aren’t commonly performed until the child reaches primary school, this is a huge time lapse where critical signs could have been picked up early.  It is always a good practice to bring your child for eye checks regularly even they don’t present any symptoms. Do make an appointment to visit your optometrist to ensure your child receives optimal eye health care, and the opportunity to slow the progression of myopia from the start.

5. VisionSource. 2020. Vision Source: Premier Network Of Independent Optometrists. [online] Available at: <http://visionsource.com> [Accessed 29 September 2020].
6. American Academy of Ophthalmology. 2020. Should You Use Night Mode To Reduce Blue Light?. [online] Available at: <https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/should-you-use-night-mode-to-reduce-blue-light> [Accessed 22 September 2020].

How to identify suitable myopia treatment for children? 

We do need to take a holistic approach when it comes to managing myopia. Importantly, treatment of myopia is not spontaneous and should be continued for as long as treatment is required, or until myopia stop progressing. The age that myopia stops progression varies and it is typically during the teenage years, between 16 to 20 or some could be even later. As long as myopia doesn’t stop progressing, the treatment should not stop. However, the age that myopia progresses the most rapid is between 8-12 years old and the earlier the onset, the treatment needs to be more aggressive in order to arrest and slow the progression. It is important that the child must closely follow the treatment and follow up plan prescribed by the optometrist and give a timeframe of about 12 months to gauge whether the treatment plan is working for the child. There are several factors that could influence the type of treatment to go for, this includes age, refractive status, and lifestyles. It is best to have an open discussion with the optometrist to determine the right treatment option that suits the child. In normal circumstances, the majority of the children are suitable for contact lens wear.

The first question to ask when making a decision on the type of myopia treatment option is ‘whether the child is a possible contact lens wearer?’ if yes, then a contact lens would be the first preferred choice as it shows the best efficacy among optical treatments. As mentioned earlier, MiSight 1 day lens has proved to have a better outcome as the treatment is more consistent since the contact lens follows the different eye gaze positions. MiSight lenses have proven with an efficacy of 59% in slowing myopia progression and 52% in the slowing of axial length(7). Furthermore, MiSight is daily disposable, hence reduces the risk of contact lens-related complications. Parents shouldn’t wait but should proactively do something for their kids as soon as they develop myopia to prevent any risk of serious eye complications in the later stage. Considering the various aspects of clinical results and lifestyle benefits which we discussed, MiSight lenses stand out distinctively and surely a better choice compared to the other treatment options.

8.Chamberlain P, et al. A 3-year randomized clinical trial of MiSight® lenses for myopia control. Optom Vis Sci. 2019; 96(8):556-67

Manage Myopia Progression during COVID-19

As kids spend more time indoors, this means that they are not receiving sufficient natural lights, which is one of the key factors for myopia treatment. It is believed that the sunlight releases dopamine in the body that helps to slow the progression of myopia(9). Next, when kids are at home or doing home-based learning, what do they do? They face the PC, reading books, and using mobile devices. This is a lot of near work that they are doing(10, 11). It is definitely not helping the kid to combat myopia. These 2 factors are the worst combination that a kid is receiving during this period. Since the kids are deprived of natural light, we must ensure that the treatment with optical methods continues.

For all types of treatment being prescribed, the kids must follow the treatment plan otherwise there will be risks for myopia to progress. Should the kid be prescribed with MiSight lenses, the wearing schedule will need to be followed closely to be effective? Last but not the least, parents must ensure that the kids observe good habits while doing the near work, having sufficient lighting, and taking frequent visual breaks are also essential steps to keep myopia away. MiSight 1 day is not just your usual contact lens, it is a contact lens that corrects myopia and also slows the progression if applied correctly and used on the recommended age range. Being able to enjoy glasses-free vision is the additional beauty of MiSight lenses, isn’t it?

9. Rose KA, Morgan IG, Ip J, et al. Outdoor Activity Reduces the Prevalence of Myopia in Children. Ophthalmology 2008; 115:1279-1285.
10. Wolffsohn JS, Calossi A, Cho P, et al. Global Trends in Myopia Management Attitudes and Strategies in Clinical Practice. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2016; 39:106–16.
11. Gifford P, Gifford KL. The Future of Myopia Control Contact Lenses. Optom Vis Sci.; 93:336-43. [Accessed 22 September 2020].

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