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Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a common visual impairment among children that affects their ability to see distant objects clearly. In Singapore, approximately 10% of Primary 1 pupils are myopic, a figure that increases to 60% in Primary 6 students and 80% among 18-year-olds. Projections even suggest that by 2030, 80% of the population will be shortsighted, with 20% experiencing severe myopia, defined as greater than -5.00 diopters. This blog will explore methods such as glasses and contact lenses for managing childhood myopia, emphasizing the importance of personalized treatment plans and expert guidance from vision care specialists.

How Does Myopia Occur in Children?

Myopia in children most commonly arises from the elongation of the eyeball or a steep curvature of the cornea. These anatomical changes cause light to focus in front of the retina instead of directly on it, resulting in blurred vision for distant objects.

Both genetic and environmental factors influence the development of myopia. These are the primary causes of myopia: genetically, children whose parents are myopic have a higher likelihood of developing the condition. Environmentally, engaging in prolonged near work, such as reading and using digital devices, and insufficient exposure to outdoor activities can increase the risk of developing myopia.

Correcting Child Myopia with Glasses

Glasses remain a traditional and highly effective method for correcting myopia in children. They adjust the focus of light entering the eyes, thus enhancing clarity and allowing for better vision. Prescriptive glasses, tailored to each child's specific needs, directly address the degree of myopia by compensating for the elongation of the eyeball or the curvature of the cornea. This straightforward approach, combined with regular eye check-ups, forms a solid foundation for managing myopia in young patients.

Correcting Child Myopia with Contact Lenses

For many children, contact lenses provide a convenient and aesthetically pleasing alternative to glasses. Specifically designed for young users, soft contact lenses offer improved comfort and do not restrict peripheral vision, which is crucial for engaging in sports and other physical activities. These lenses are customized to each child's unique visual needs, altering how light is focused onto the retina for better vision.

Additionally, Ortho-K lenses, a specialized type of contact lenses, are worn overnight to gently reshape the cornea in such a way that the child no longer need to wear glasses or contact lenses in the day to see clearly. This approach not only corrects myopia temporarily but also contribute to  reducing myopia progression, offering a proactive solution for managing the condition.

Beyond the functional benefits, contact lenses often appeal to children for cosmetic reasons, allowing them to participate in activities without the physical encumbrance and social self-consciousness sometimes associated with glasses.

Which Is a Better Choice in Reducing Child Myopia?

Choosing between glasses and contact lenses depends on factors such as age, activity level, and myopia progression in children. Glasses are often favored by parents for younger children due to their simplicity and durability, while more open to contact lenses for older children, due to the aesthetic and functional benefits of contact lenses, especially for sports activities. However, we have a since children as young as 6 years old being very successful with both contact lenses and glasses.

Both options are beneficial in correcting myopia and with new technology, both glasses and contact lenses can now help slow myopia progression. However, contact lenses require careful maintenance to prevent eye infections, whereas glasses are generally easier to manage on a daily basis. Parents should also consider the costs, care requirements, and their child’s level of responsibility when making a choice.

It is important to consult with a vision care professionals, like those at Eyecare People, to customize the solution to your child’s needs and ensure optimal eye health. We assist families in managing myopia effectively, explaining how to combine lifestyle adjustments with appropriate vision care products. Consider scheduling an appointment to explore the most suitable options for maintaining your child’s vision health.


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