4 tips for parents of children with myopia

Even though myopia, also called nearsightedness, is very easily corrected, it’s still important to take this vision disorder seriously because it can have an impact on your child’s long-term ocular health. Here are 4 tips to keep in mind if your little one is diagnosed with myopia.

Tip #1 – Book an annual eye exam

At Opto-Réseau, our professionals can provide eye exams for patients of all ages. Except in specific cases, we recommend that parents book an eye exam for their child before they start school as well as an annual eye exam every year thereafter while they are still in school.

If your child has a specific visual condition – severe myopia for instance – your optometrist might want to see them more often. Watch the short video below to find out what happens during an eye exam for kids at Opto-Réseau (french only).

Students need perfect vision because 80% of learning is visual. By consulting an optometrist once a year, you’ll make sure your child does not suffer from any vision problems that could negatively impact their health, personal growth, or academic success.

Did you know that

According to the Ordre des optométristes du Québec, less than 30% of children have ever consulted an optometrist and more than one elementary student out of five has a vision disorder that hinders their learning abilities and academic success.

Keep in mind that even if your child has no apparent symptoms, they might still have vision problems.

On the other hand, if they regularly squint, tend to lean forward when looking at a screen, complain about blurred vision or headaches, they might be suffering from myopia.

Moreover, myopia is a condition that is of a growing concern for eyecare professionals because it now tends to appear more frequently in younger children.

Tip #2 – Learn how to manage myopia

Even though there is no cure for myopia, there are various solutions available to manage this condition and slow down its progress.

With more and more children aged 6 to 8 being diagnosed with myopia, it’s important to quickly detect the problem since it can cause an elongation of the eyeball and fragilize the retina.

If a child under 10 suffers from untreated myopia, they will be at increased risk of developing a visual impairment in their 60s. That’s why it’s so important to treat myopia in children and to explore the solutions available to curb or slow its progression.

Tip #3 – Consult your optometrist to make the best choice for your child

Depending on your child’s specific needs and lifestyle, you’ll find a plethora of options to manage their myopia. Your eyecare professional is in the best position to assist you in making an informed decision about which solution to choose.

Soft contact lenses

MiSight 1 day1 from Cooper Vision are soft contact lenses that can be used to manage myopia. These disposable contact lenses are a popular corrective measure because they’re practical and comfortable.

Your child doesn’t have to take care of these contact lenses because they simply throw them out at the end of a day. These one-day lenses are also a flexible solution if your child wants to alternate between wearing glasses one day and contact lenses the next.

In addition to correcting a child’s vision, these lenses have been proven to slow the progression of nearsightedness by an average of 59%.

To find out how MiSight 1 day lenses work, watch this video of Dr. Frédérique Goulet, optometrist and owner of the Opto-Réseau clinic | Voyons Voir Boucherville (french only).

Glasses

You can also manage myopia with prescription glasses.  Stellest lenses from Essilor or Miyosmart lenses from Hoya are both good options.

Just like contact lenses, ophthalmic lenses will correct your child’s blurry vision and have been proven to slow down myopia progression.

Miyosmart lenses are an ideal option for young patients because they are impact resistant and can slow the progression of myopia by an average of 60%.

As for Stellest lenses, they’ve been proven to slow down myopia progression by 67%. Furthermore, Stellest lenses and Miyosmart lenses come with an anti-reflective coating.

Orthokeratology

Orthokeratology is the use of specially designed hard contact lenses that are worn at night. Even though this treatment is not as common as other options, it is still available in a few Opto-Réseau clinics and is generally recommended for mild myopia.

To explore options that are suited to your child’s vision condition and lifestyle, book an appointment at your Opto-Réseau clinic.

Tip #4 – Help your child understand the importance of taking care of their eyes

Last but not least, if your child is myopic, you should remind them that healthy lifestyle habits can make a huge difference!

Here are a few good habits to keep in mind:

  • Spend time outdoors (ideally, at least 1 to 2 hours every day)
  • Limit their daily screen time
  • Take breaks, especially when work requires focusing on nearby ojects
  • Make sure to have adequate lighting when reading

If your child wears glasses to manage their myopia such as Miyosmart or Stellest lenses, we encourage you to make sure they wear them all day long! The most efficient way to slow down myopia progression is to wear glasses regularly.

Finally, remind your child that’s it’s important they let you know if they experience discomfort that negatively affects their day-to-day routine such as trouble concentrating, difficulty seeing near/far, frequent headaches, itching eyes, etc.

To book an eye appointment for your child or for more information about treatments and solutions to slow down myopia progression, book an appointment at our clinic.

1. Canadian Indications for use: MiSight (omafilcon A) Soft Contact Lenses for Myopia Control may reduce the rate of myopia progression in children (6-18) and correct ametropia. Reduction of myopia progression was observed in children with wearing time of 12 hours (8-16 hours) per day, 6.4 days (5-7) per week in a clinical study. Permanent myopia control after lens treatment is discontinued is not supported by clinical studies. MiSight (omafilcon A) Soft Contact Lenses for Myopia Control are indicated for single use daily disposable wear. When prescribed for daily disposable wear, the lens is to be discarded after each removal.