Myopia is a common eye condition diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam. If your child has myopia, your optometrist will recommend treatment to reduce or slow its progression. There are several treatments for myopia control, and MiSight contact lenses are a common form of this.
If you’re debating getting your child MiSight contacts, what is the importance of myopia control and MiSight lenses, and how do they work?
What are MiSight Contact Lenses?
MiSight lenses are a type of contact lens used to control myopia progression in children. They are daily disposable, soft contact lenses.
They’re more naturally comfortable to wear, and you can remove them at the end of the day. These lenses come with several advantages:
- No cleaning needed since they are disposable
- Easily replaced by opening a new disposable lens
- More comfortable than rigid contact lenses
- Provides vision correction & myopia control
Your standard contact lenses are designed for myopia correction rather than control and are not effective in preventing myopic progression in children. If you’re choosing between different contact lenses, why is myopia control important for your child?
Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a common condition affecting nearly 30% of Canadians. This condition causes nearby objects to appear clearly while distant objects do not focus properly and seem blurry.
When your eyeball is too long or the cornea is too steeply curved, entering light is focused in front of the retina instead of on the retina. This condition typically develops in childhood and can progress until it stabilizes in early adulthood.
As children grow, so do their eyes, causing their already elongated eyes to potentially worsen and progress into a more severe form of myopia (high myopia). Catching and treating myopia at an early age can potentially prevent the development of high myopia. Some children may not even notice they have symptoms, so it’s important to keep watch for the following:
- Excessive blinking
- Persistent squinting
- Unawareness of distant objects
- Frequent eye rubbing
- A need to sit closer to objects (television, classroom board)
Adults with undiagnosed myopia may experience headaches, feel the need to squint to see, or have blurry vision.
Myopia tends to intensify as children age, and this progression can lead to a reliance on heavy prescriptions in adulthood. High myopia increases the risk of developing eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal detachment.
Myopia Control’s Importance
With the problems severe myopia can cause, it’s important to slow progression as much as possible. Certain eyeglasses can help correct myopia, but they need proper controlling methods to potentially slow myopic progression. Your child may be able to see clearly, but their myopia is still worsening.
For myopia progression to slow, treatment needs to control the development, not only correct vision. There are several ways to do this through contact lenses, eyeglasses, and prescription eye drops. MiSight contact lenses are a form of myopia control, but how do they work?
How Do MiSight Contact Lenses Work?
MiSight contact lenses correct refractive error and slow eye elongation through its design. Peripheral rings in the lens help to focus light in front of the retina. There are 2 myopic control zones and 2 correction zones in the lens.
The lens centre focuses on vision correction while alternating rings surrounding the centre provide myopia control and vision correction. The visual correction zones focus on correcting myopia for all visual directions while the control rings create myopic defocus to slow eye elongation.
How Do They Differ from Regular Contacts?
Standard contact lenses only focus on correcting myopia. These lenses provide clear vision but do not address progression in myopic eyes.
Standard contacts lack the myopia treatment zones surrounding the centre of MiSight contact lenses. MiSight lenses are made to control myopia progression, but are they effective?
Are They Effective?
A 3-year study on MiSight contact lenses determined the daily disposable contacts are an effective form of myopia control. The progression of myopia in children was significantly reduced by MiSight contact lenses when compared to the standard single-vision contact lens.
With its comfortable material, soft contact lenses such as MiSight provide easier adaptation than rigid lenses and are suitable for children as young as 8.
If you’re not convinced about MiSight contact lenses, there are several other treatment options for myopia control. Speak with your optometrist to find the best treatment for your child’s needs.
Find the Best Treatment for Your Child
Several myopia control methods are available, and your optometrist can recommend the best treatment for your child’s myopia. Some common myopia control methods include:
- Spectacle lenses (Myovision & Myopilux)
- Multifocal contact lenses
- Corneal reshaping lenses (Ortho-K)
These treatments work to slow the progression in myopic eyes, and many are effective. If you’re unsure of which treatment to pursue, speak with your optometrist for their professional opinion.
If your child is experiencing any symptoms of myopia, book an appointment to have their eyes examined. The earlier you diagnose myopia, the greater the chance of effectively slowing its progression.