Is your child at risk of myopia? (SPOILER: Probably, yes)
Parents, if you are nearsighted and had to wear glasses throughout your childhood, you may have wondered if your little one is at risk of being nearsighted too, right? Well, read on because we have the answers for you.
Nearsightedness, medically known as myopia, is a common eye condition that causes blurry or out-of-focus long-distance vision. People with myopia can however, see things clearly up close.
Children may not realise that they are experiencing the symptoms of myopia, so parents need to be watchful of the signs. Answer this simple questionnaire and let’s find out if your child needs an eye exam, ASAP.
- Complain of headache or “tired eyes”? YES | NO
- Experience difficulty in school? (An inability to see things in the front of the classroom clearly, such as the blackboard, may lead to poor performance.) YES | NO
- Sit close to the television, computer monitor or other screens? YES | NO
- Hold books very closely when reading? YES | NO
- Have difficulty viewing distant objects? YES | NO
- Blink excessively? YES | NO
- Rub his or her eyes frequently? YES | NO
- Squint a lot? YES | NO
Now that you’ve checked the possible symptoms of myopia,1 2 let’s take a look at the risk factors that may contribute to your child’s myopia development.
The risk of myopia increases when parents are myopic.3
- 22% when neither parent is myopic
- 31% when one parent is myopic
- 46% when both parents are myopic
Development of myopia has a number of contributing factors:
- Prolonged “near tasks” like reading and screen time4 5
- Lack of outdoor activity4 6
- Poor lighting levels4 6
If you’ve answered yes to most of the concerns above, then it is time take your child to see the optometrist to make sure. But there’s no need to panic; myopia is common in children. In fact, in Singapore, 28% of Primary 1 children have myopia – a number which rises to 65% when the children reach Primary 6. What you need to do now is find out more about myopia treatment and management.
- By 2050, more than 50% of the world’s population and 62% of the population in Southeast Asia will develop myopia.8
- Over the years, the onset age of myopia is progressively getting younger.4
If you suspect your child has myopia, do not hesitate to get an eye exam. Myopia can progressively get worse over time, so early intervention can make a significant difference.
Take your child to see a qualified eye care professional as soon as you notice the symptoms. Myopia may start off mild, but it is progressive, meaning it can develop into moderate or high myopia. The earlier myopia starts, the higher chance your child has of developing high myopia.4 5 So remember to take your child for regular eye examinations by qualified eye care professionals to monitor his or her eyesight and eye health.
Child Myopia Management Options
Early intervention could help to slow down myopia progression in children. Spectacles, contact lenses and atropine drops are the most common ways to manage myopia.
Myopia management goes beyond just giving your child a pair of spectacles. With the right approach, your child may be able to reduce his or her myopia progression. Our easy guide here can help you make the right decision for your child.
*references can be found at the end of the article
Surprised that contact lenses have more pros compared to Atropine drops and spectacles? Well, according to a three-year study conducted by CooperVision on children aged 8-15 wearing MiSightⓇ 1 Day soft contact lenses,9 nine out of ten children were able to insert and remove their lenses on their own!
The study also found that:
- 100% of the children disposed of their contact lenses as instructed.
- 96% of the children reported that they liked wearing the contact lenses and wore them for an average of 13 hours per day.
- 86% of the children preferred wearing the contact lenses over spectacles.
- Over 96% of the children said they felt their contact lenses either “never” or “sometimes” while wearing them.
- Less than 10% needed help from their parents to insert or remove their lenses (no more than twice a month).
Furthermore, 91% of the parents were reported to be “extremely comfortable” with their child wearing contact lenses after a period of 36 months.
MiSightⓇ contact lenses is developed with ActivControl Technology that allows children to see clearly while slowing their myopia progression and eyeball growth. These daily disposable contact lenses are soft, kid-friendly and easy to wear too.
CooperVision’s three-year study also reported that compared to single-vision contact lenses, MiSightⓇ 1 Day contact lenses have shown to:
- Reduce myopia progression by more than 59%9
- Reduce axial elongation by 52%10
You may consider contact lenses for your child if he or she...
- is asking to wear contact lenses
- performs his or her chores without having to be asked repeatedly
- is clean and hygienic
- takes good care of his or her spectacles
- is involved in athletics
Give your child the gift of healthy eyesight so they can enjoy learning, playing and doing all sorts of activities. Join us at our workshop and we’ll tell you all you need to know about childhood myopia.
Workshop: Childhood Myopia
Date: 4 June 2019, Tuesday
Venue: Kith @ Marina Square
**Light refreshments will be provided.
**Please indicate 2 pax if you are bringing your child along.
Update: Registration for the workshop is now closed. If you're interested to find out more about child myopia, signup here and get a toolkit on myopia management.
3 Morgan P. Is Myopia Control The Next Myopia Revolution? The Optician 2016.
4 Wolfssan JS, Callosi A, Cho P, et al. Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050. Ophthalmology. 2016; 123:1036-42.
5 Glifford P, Glifford KL. The Future of Myopia Control Contact Lenses. Optom Vis Sci.; 93:336-43.
6 Rose KA, Morgan IG, Ip J, et al. Outdoor Activity Reduces the Prevalence of Myopia in Children. Ophthalmology 2008; 115:1279-1285.
7 Siatkowski RM, Cotter SA, et al. Two-year Multicenter, Randomize, Double-masked, Placebo-controlled, Parallel Safety and Efficacy Study of 2% Pirenzepine Ophthalmic Gel in Children with Myopia. J AAPOS 2008; 12:332-339.
8 Holden BA, Fricke TR, Wilson DA, et al. Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050. Ophthalmology. 2016;123 (5):1036-42.
9 3 year study results. CooperVision. Data on file.
10 Chamberlain P, Back A, Lazon P, et al. 3 year effectiveness of a dual-focus 1 day contact lens for myopia control. Presented at the 40th British Contact Lens Association Clinical Conference and Exhibition; 10 June 2017; Liverpool, United Kingdom.
References for treatment options image:
5. Gwiazda J, Hyman L, et al. A Randomized Clinical Trial of Progressive Addition Lenses versus Single Vision Lenses on the Progression of Myopia in Children. IOVS, April 2003, Vol. 44, No. 4.
6. Adler D, Millodot M. The Possible Effect of Undercorrection on Myopic Progression in Children. Clin Exp Optom. 2006 Sep; 89(5):315-21.
7. Chung K, Mohindin N, O’Leary DJ. Undercorrection of Myopia Enhances Rather than Inhibits Myopia Progression. Vision Res 2002 Oct; 42(22):2555-9.
8. Back A, Chamberlain P, et al. Clinical Evaluation of a Dual-Focus Myopia Control 1 Day Soft Contact Lens - 2-Year Results. Paper presented at the annual meeting of The American Academy of Optometry, November 9, 2016; Anaheim, California USA.
9. 3 year study results. CooperVision. Data on file.
12. Walline JJ, Greiner KL, McVey ME, et al. Multifocal Contact Lens Myopia Control. 2013 1040-5488/13/9011-1207/0 VOL. 90, NO. 11.
19. Morgan P. Is Myopia Control the Next Contact Lens Revolution? The Optician 2016.
20. 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. 21. Bullimore MA, Sinnott LT, Jones-Jordan LA. The Risk of Microbial Keratitis with Overnight Corneal Reshaping Lenses. Optom Vis Sci 2013; 90:937-44.