If your child has myopia—also known as nearsightedness or shortsightedness—you are not alone. This condition is becoming more and more common. In fact, experts predict it will affect more than 50% of the world’s population by 2050. The good news is that there are now more ways parents can help.
Your Child’s Distance Vision
The very first thing you can do to help is to know what to look for. Is your child struggling to see the board at school? Are things beginning to look blurrier at a distance? One cause for this blurry distance vision could be myopia. Generally, myopia first occurs in school-age children and progresses until about age 20. According to the American Optometric Association, 34% of children ages 12-17 have myopia. This is due in part to changing lifestyles, with children spending less time outdoors.
Is Myopia a Big Deal?
Since myopia makes faraway objects appear blurry, children may have more difficulty participating in sports, school, and other daily activities. But the immediate obstacles that myopia presents pale in comparison to the problems myopia can cause later in life. Unfortunately, not all parents are familiar with myopia, let alone how serious it can be. A global survey shows that 26% of parents of children with myopia don’t know the term myopia. If you’re reading this, you won’t be one of them! Fortunately, once parents better understand the condition, they can arm themselves with knowledge about how crucial it is to act quickly. The first step is to make an appointment with your eye care professional. You are not worrying needlessly. As children grow, so can the progression of their myopia, which can lead to future eye health problems. That’s why 82% of eye care professionals say they worry that pediatric patients will have significant eye health issues as they grow older. Even children with fairly low prescriptions have a higher risk of glaucoma and retinal detachment compared to non-myopic children, and that risk multiplies as prescriptions get stronger.
What Can Be Done?
There are proven ways to slow the progression of myopia and you have the power to help. For example, there are many things you can do to help ensure myopia isn’t an obstacle in your child’s daily life – with both lifestyle choices and helpful products. Eye care professionals often recommend spending time outdoors, reducing screen time, and using correction methods for myopia. The catch with this last intervention is that many products for myopia only correct vision— they don’t actually slow the progression of myopia. Some myopia management products on the other hand are proven to slow the rate at which the condition progresses. Importantly, the sooner you take action the better because myopia progresses more quickly in younger children. That’s why 92% of eye care professionals agree it’s important to slow myopia progression at an early age — ideally when children are under 10 years old. Just like you, they want to make a difference in kids’ eye health.
As a parent, you look for a product that will fit seamlessly into your child’s life, and most eye care professionals agree that contact lenses are up to the task. Until now, traditional spectacles and contact lenses available in the U.S. have only been developed to correct blurred vision. That’s all changed with the introduction of MiSight® 1 day. MiSight® 1 day is a contact lens that’s clinically proven to slow the progression of myopia in age-appropriate children. This daily wear, single use contact lens has been FDA-approved* to slow the progression of myopia when initially prescribed for children 8-12 years old at the initiation of treatment. Not surprisingly, 84% of eye care professionals would consider putting children with myopia into contact lenses that could help slow the progression of myopia. And on average, eye care professionals are comfortable fitting children as young as nine years old, which means you can confidently get your child the safe and reliable help they need as soon as possible.