Being a guardian, your foremost concern is ensuring that your children are as contented and fit as they can be. This includes monitoring all aspects of their mental and physical wellness—particularly their eye health—from their earliest years. Scheduling regular eye check-ups for kids from a young age can help alleviate vision problems early on. Among the various eye conditions that impact youngsters, nearsightedness is a progressively prevalent condition. It’s beneficial to be familiar with the indications, symptoms, and treatment options.
To address any queries or apprehensions you may have about nearsightedness, we’re turning to those who are well-informed: Dr. Andy Kongsakul of Valley Optometry Eyecare, who shares his expertise about this condition, including how ACUVUE® Abiliti Overnight Therapeutic Lenses offer a safe and effective treatment option for myopia. So, if you’re looking to gain a deeper understanding of what exactly nearsightedness is and how to manage it, you’ve come to the right place.
What exactly is nearsightedness?
As explained by Dr. Kongsakul, nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is a persistent ailment that occurs when the eye grows excessively long. This extension of the eye results in a challenge in focusing on distant objects, such as the whiteboard in a classroom, leading to blurry vision. Untreated nearsightedness can heighten the risk of enduring vision impairment, possibly even blindness.
Nearsightedness significantly impacts children’s vision, affecting around 1 in 3 youngsters in the United States, a figure that continues to increase. This visual condition is frequently diagnosed in children between 8 and 12 years old but can appear even earlier, underscoring the importance of annual comprehensive eye check-ups starting at age 5.
Dr. Kongsakul explains that over the past few decades, our comprehension of nearsightedness has advanced, and it is now considered a progressive ailment, with the potential to worsen over time. The global number of individuals affected by nearsightedness has nearly doubled in the last 20 years, emphasizing the urgency of addressing this issue in children’s eye health.
How can you recognize and lessen the likelihood of nearsightedness in children?
According to Dr. Kongsakul, there are indications that your child may have nearsightedness:
- Squinting: Youngsters may squint to see distant objects clearly.
- Trouble seeing far away: They may have difficulty focusing on distant objects.
- Close screen viewing: Youngsters might get unusually close to digital devices, TVs, or books.
- Headaches: Frequent headaches, especially after reading or screen time.
- Tired eyes: Complaints of strained eyes or constantly rubbing them.
A thorough eye check-up with a qualified eye care professional, which is more comprehensive than a school vision screening or a pediatrician’s brief eye test, is crucial for early detection. These check-ups can identify not only nearsightedness but also various systemic and chronic illnesses. It is advised that every child undergo their first comprehensive eye check-up by the age of 5.
Dr. Kongsakul notes that while it cannot be entirely averted, there are measures that parents can take to reduce the likelihood of its development:
- More time outdoors: Research indicates that spending more time outdoors can help lessen the onset of nearsightedness or slow its progression.
- Less “near work”: Limiting the time spent on activities such as reading and school assignments.
- Adhere to the 20-20-20 rule: For every 20 minutes, encourage your child to gaze at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds to minimize eye strain.
How can nearsightedness be managed?
Abiliti Overnight Therapeutic Lenses are an excellent choice for managing nearsightedness in children. These lenses are worn overnight while your child sleeps and temporarily reshape the cornea, typically eliminating the need to wear glasses during the day1. They have demonstrated remarkable success in managing nearsightedness in children across various age groups, with a particularly inspiring story from one of Dr. Kongsakul’s patients, a 10-year-old boy.
“Prescribing Abiliti Overnight Therapeutic Lenses resulted in rapid improvement in the child’s vision, and he quickly adapted to wearing and caring for the lenses,”2 stated Dr. Kongsakul. “Now his vision surpasses 20/20, and he no longer requires glasses or contacts during the day, making all of his favorite activities like school, amusement parks, and travel much more enjoyable for him overall.”
While it is always encouraging to hear a triumphant personal story, having some lingering questions regarding children wearing contact lenses and their general effectiveness is totally normal. We asked Dr. Kongsakul for more specifics, and here’s what he had to say:
Q: What is the minimum age for a child to wear ACUVUE® Abiliti Overnight Therapeutic Lenses?
“These lenses have been successfully prescribed for managing nearsightedness in children as young as six years old.”
Q: As a lifelong contact lens wearer, I’ve always been advised not to sleep in my lenses. Why are these lenses different? Are there any risks associated with wearing them overnight?
“Abiliti Overnight Therapeutic Lenses are orthokeratology lenses approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for managing nearsightedness and are specifically designed to be worn overnight. In three studies accounting for over 200 patient years of wear, no serious adverse events(or severe complications) were identified. The lenses were crafted to ensure eyes stay comfortable with integrated moisture retention and oxygenation.
Q: What strategies would you propose to assist a child who is anxious about wearing contact lenses?
“It’s typical for any child to experience some form of reluctance when initially testing contact lenses. Usually, we prefer to motivate children by highlighting the improvement in their vision post-adoption. Having the ability to engage in physical activities or have clear vision in the classroom without spectacles serves as great encouragement for the child and promotes parental participation in encouraging their child to consider contact lenses. Once they are prepared to experiment with contact lenses, we employ the analogy of learning how to ride a bicycle. It might pose challenges initially, but with practice, it will become easier.”
Being able to detect the early signs of myopia in children is crucial in ensuring their eye health remains robust and dependable. Recognizing that Abiliti Overnight Therapeutic Lenses present a valuable treatment option is equally vital knowledge. If you believe your child could benefit from this treatment, arrange a comprehensive examination with your child’s eye specialist and visit seeyourabiliti.com for more information.
Essential Safety Details for Contact Lens Users
ACUVUE® Abiliti Overnight Therapeutic Contact Lenses are obtainable solely by prescription for myopia management. An optometrist will decide if these lenses are suitable for you. While rare, severe eye issues such as vision loss and blindness may arise when wearing contact lenses. To mitigate these risks, adhere to the prescribed wearing and replacement schedule, as well as the lens care disinfection instructions provided by your eye care professional. Refrain from wearing these contact lenses if you have an eye infection or encounter eye discomfort, excessive tearing, vision changes, redness, or other eye issues. If any of these conditions occur, remove the lens and promptly consult your eye doctor. For comprehensive guidance on proper wear, care, and safety, consult your eye care professional, review the Patient Instruction Guide, call 1-877-334-3937, or visit www.seeyourabiliti.com.