A large portion of what we learn and experience occurs through our eyes. Kids learn and grow through what they see. Their vision makes a huge difference in their development and for their future. So, the question is, can we prevent myopia to ensure normal development?
Children always have something new to discover: their first vacation, their first hobby, or their first best friend in preschool. These are magical, fascinating moments for them. However, if a child doesn't have optimum vision, it impedes their quality of life. Their development can consequently suffer, leading to learning difficulties and causing the child to fall short of their full potential.1,2 It’s important to provide the best possible support for those with rapid myopia progression.
That's why ZEISS MyoCare portfolio consists of lenses that are specially designed for young spectacle wearers between the ages of 6 and 12. ZEISS MyoCare is our best spectacle lens solution designed to slow down the progression of myopia. Because through children’s eyes, every detail counts.
Myopia is also called nearsightedness, and it is basically a form of visual impairment. When a nearsighted person looks into the distance, a blurred image is produced in the eye (on the retina). As children grow, their eyes become longer. If the eye elongation is more than it should be at a given age, the level of myopia increases. For example, some myopia symptoms in children could be that they struggle to see clearly in the distance, so they struggle to do everyday activities such as playing ball sports or reading the white board in the front of a classroom.
In Asia, almost 90% of young people in urban areas below the age of 20 are myopic.3 But the growing prevalence of myopia is not only a problem in Asia. This trend is also emerging globally.
In comparison, the prevalence of myopia and risk of juvenile myopia progression is relatively low in Europe. Still, myopia is also becoming more common across the region, with a clear trend of higher myopia prevalence in the younger population.4
There are multiple causes that contribute to the increasing prevalence of myopia:2
- Genetic aspects
- When one or both parents are nearsighted there is an increased risk that the child will also become nearsighted.
- Environmental and lifestyle changes
- Excessive near work, such as intense activity with smartphones or books.
- Regions where everyday life tends to take place indoors.
- Lack of natural light as well as reduced time outdoors.
- Additional facts:
- Because early onset implies morebyears of progression, myopes younger than seven are at greater risk of developing high myopia.5
- One myopic parent increases the risk for future myopia twice, and two myopic parents increase the risk more than five times.6
There are multiple options for myopia progression treatments in kids, including:
- Contact lenses worn by the child at night only
- Soft contact lenses for daytime wear
- Eye drops
- Special myopia glasses, which tends to be the most comfortable treatment method for young patients.
Regardless of the myopia treatment, lifestyle also has a strong influence on children’s eyes. In fact, studies have shown that myopia is less common among children who spend a lot of time outdoors or, and if a myopic child is outside frequently, myopia progression tends to be slower.
Myopia has complex and multifactorial causes. Therefore, managing myopia progression in children can involve a combination of optical treatments with glasses and contact lenses as well as pharmaceuticals. However, regardless of the chosen myopia management approach, it should be combined with a healthy lifestyle to achieve the desired treatment outcome.7
Corneal reshaping (Orthokeratology)
Specialised rigid contact lenses are worn overnight to temporarily change the curvature of the cornea and allow clear vision during the day.
Soft contact lenses
Soft contact lenses with special centre-distance designs worn during the day that simultaneously create clear and defocused areas in the back of the eye (on the retina).
The least invasive and most accessible method that does not have the risks and side effects associated with other solutions. The advantage of special spectacle lens designs is that it corrects vision and controls the progression of myopia at the same time.
Frequent outdoor activity, consisting of a minimum of 2 hours of intermittent outdoor time per day including additional outdoor time after school, is recommended to prevent or delay the onset of myopia.8
Pharmaceuticals for progressive myopia
This involves the application of pharmaceutical products, for example low doses of atropine drops.
A specialised solution
Progressive myopia in children must be corrected with a specialised visual aid that gives the child clear, comfortable vision, while also managing the progression. Unfortunately, it is most often treated with standard spectacle or contact lenses. These visual aids only correct the current state of myopia but cannot slow down myopia progression.
ZEISS MyoCare is a new lens design that addresses good vision and myopia progression.
Enhance your child’s vision. Let them see their world clearly – every little detail of every single moment counts. The ZEISS MyoCare lens portfolio is our best spectacle lens solution aimed to slow down the progression of myopia.
The portfolio consists of two lens designs based on age. Your eye care professional will recommend the most suitable lens design for your child. MyoCare® is backed by ZEISS innovation and more than a decade of experience in developing lenses to manage myopia progression.
As children grow, their eyes become longer, and this is called axial elongation. If the axial elongation is more than it should be at a given age, the level of myopia increases. By managing the axial length of the eye, myopia is also managed.
Our MyoCare design features a central clear zone for optical vision correction. Special C.A.R.E.® elements are featured from the edge of the clear zone expanding to the edge of the lens. The main focus of this design is to manage myopia progression by slowing down the elongation of the eyeball, while delivering comfortable and good vision.
Defocus is known to trigger the elongation of the eyeball which leads to further myopisation. We have optimised the back surface of the lens, to provide the correct lens power and to minimise unwanted defocus – no matter where the eyes look through the lenses. ZEISS ClearFocus design delivers good vision and myopia management for all viewing angles.
Anti-reflective coatings with scratch resistant properties that are applied to the lens surface to make it more robust – perfect for active young children. ZEISS DuraVision Kids with all-round protective features can also be considered as a great solution specifically designed for children. It offers excellent anti-reflective properties to give young kids undisturbed vision and low UV reflectance on the back of the lens.
Full UV protection, which means your child’s eyes are protected when they’re playing outside.
A lens that is effective in managing myopia progression in children, should also be comfortable and give the wearer clear vision. This is why we value the opinion of children who wear MyoCare so much. 99% of children wearing ZEISS MyoCare claim that their distance and near vision is very good, and 100% adapted to the lenses within one day.9
Children should be able to have fun without any restrictions. When wearing ZEISS MyoCare lenses, your child will still be able to read, play outdoors, do sports and more.
Let your child spend more time outdoors:
Research shows that a minimum of 2 hours of intermittent outdoor time per day is recommended to prevent or delay the onset of myopia.
Teach your child good near-work habits:
Reduce any excessive time your child is spending on near tasks, like playing on a smartphone or tablet. If your child loves reading, make sure that they take regular breaks. Avoid working distances closer than 20 cm.
Take them for regular eye check-ups:
Early detection is key, not just for correcting your child’s vision but also for managing their myopia progression as soon as possible. All children above 5 should go for at least one annual eye examination until they reach 18 – 20 years of age.
Ensure your child wears their glasses as often as possible:
In the case of myopia management interventions, wearability is a very important factor to guarantee treatment effectiveness. These lenses are only effective when it is worn. ZEISS MyoCare lens portfolio has great wearability. With 100% of children reporting that they adapted to both MyoCare and MyoCare S lenses within one day.9
Effective protection against harmful UV radiation is a must-have with any spectacle lenses, especially for children's sensitive eyes. Full UV protection comes standard with all clear ZEISS myopia management lenses. This way your child can have fun in the sun without damaging their eyes.
Also available for ZEISS MyoCare: ZEISS DuraVision BlueProtect. Blue light protection for children with myopia who find blue light emitted by smartphones, tablets, LEDs, TVs and computer screens distracting. This includes integrated premium protection against scratches and a special dirt-resistant coating.