Myopia control for children

Myopia control is a treatmenst designed to slow down the progression of short-sightedness in children using overnight contact lenses. It has the benefits of correcting their vision whilst they sleep, so that they do not need to wear glasses or lenses during the day, and also preventing their prescription from getting worse year after year.

Wearing glasses merely corrects a child's eyesight; it does nothing to control the progression of myopia. Glasses also have many other negatives, they can stop children playing sports, they can get lost or broken, and studies have shown that they can affect a child's confidence and even their academic performance. But worst of all, high myopia predisposes a child to serious eye problems in later life, such as retinal detachment.

Overnight contact lenses control myopia by shaping the eye into the correct form and gently holding it there whilst the child sleeps. The eye remains in this corrected shape as their eyesight develops throughout childhood. Myopia control could be likened to the use of dental braces which hold the teeth in the correct alignment as a child grows.

Myopia development has two distinct phases, child onset myopia which begins around the age of six and continues into the late teens and adult onset myopia. It is particularly important to address child onset myopia as this is when myopia is at its most aggressive, increasing on average, half a diopter every year. This means, that a child who begins to wear glasses at the age of six could have a prescription in double figures by the time they reach their late teens.

Evidence from many years of independent scientific research using groups of children wearing overnight contact lenses has shown that this group exhibit less myopia as adults, compared with children who wear glasses or daytime contact lenses during the peak years for myopia progression.

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