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My Son Needs Myopia Management

Welp. One of my worst fears came true yesterday while at my son’s annual optometry exams.

I have 2 young sons, aged 11 and 14. My 14-year-old has worn glasses and contacts for about 5 years now. His prescription has been really stable so far, with just one minor adjustment in power over the course of his time with corrective lenses. This is great news!

A lot can change in one year

After 11 years with 20/20 vision, my youngest needs corrective lenses. This isn’t the fear I had for him, as I’ve always felt really grateful that he made it this long with perfect vision. I got my first pair of glasses at the mere age of 3, so 11 years has been a blessing. What worries me is how much his vision changed in just one year.

Basically, what’s happening is he’s growing a lot. He’s finally hit that growth spurt. He has gotten taller and is gaining natural ‘big kid’ weight. That means his eyes are growing a lot, as well as the need for myopia management.

It could always be worse

I’m trying to remember that this could be much worse. By now, I know that worrying and obsessing over it doesn’t do me any good.

I know that in preparation for this to be a possibility someday, I’ve done everything I could to help my son have as healthy eyes (and habits) as can be. He has really big, really beautiful blue eyes that scream myopia to me when I look at them. His eyes look just like mine.

Healthy eye habits for myopia management

I have worked really hard to teach my sons about eating for the health of their bodies, minds, and eyes. We use words like lutein and lutein and zeaxanthin in our house. My kids know I eat blueberries every single day even though I think they’re pretty disgusting.

We all wear sunglasses (and sunscreen) when we go outside, and my kids know why.

Myopia is a growing concern

Due to genetics, it was always a possibility for my boys to have high myopia. As my son’s eyes are growing, they’re growing longer instead of round like an eye would without myopia. He gets this from his mama. My eyes are extremely myopic, coming in at a diopter of -14 and -15. Yay me…

But myopia is not just a concern for my family. Myopia is also a concern for the entire world. The number of people with myopia in 2020 is predicted to be 2.6 billion globally, which is expected to rise up to 4.9 billion by 2050, unless preventive actions and interventions are taken.1

Science is on our side

Besides setting my kids up for success, science is always working toward a cure for macular degeneration. As well as more preventative methods to keep vision loss at bay. I have faith that by the time they’re my age, there will be some pretty awesome new things out there to help them.

In fact, there’s already one that we are going to take advantage of. Because of the growing number of people being diagnosed with myopia around the world, there is now a concern for doctors and scientists to put time and energy into what they call ‘myopia control’, or ‘myopia management’.

A revolutionary contact lens

There is a new, U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved contact lens, made specifically to slow the progression of myopia in children aged 8- 12 at initiation of treatment. These contacts are called peripheral defocus lenses. The lenses my son is getting are manufactured and distributed by CooperVision and are called MiSight 1 day (daily disposable lenses).2

According to the company, "[They are] the first contact lens indicated to slow the progression of myopia (nearsightedness) in children between the ages of 8 and 12 years old at the initiation of treatment... The MiSight soft contact lenses are meant to be worn daily to correct nearsightedness and slow the progression of myopia in children with healthy eyes.”2

What does this mean?

Myopia is essentially the elongation of an eye during growth. The way I learned it as a kid was that my myopic eyes are shaped like footballs, whereas a ‘normal’ eye is spherical like a basketball. This elongation causes light to refract differently in the eye and can, overtime, cause symptoms of macular degeneration.

Myopic macular degeneration mimics its age-related (AMD) counterpart, decades sooner than someone diagnosed with AMD. It’s essential we implement myopia management for our children to help their eyes grow correctly in an attempt to avoid higher levels of myopia.

My fourteen year old

Even though the age specifications for this lens is 8- 12, I have a 14-year-old as well whom I think will benefit from myopia control. He has had little vision change over the last 5 years; however, he is myopic and he does have the genetics of the disease.

My older son is also hitting a huge growth spurt right now due to allergies he has with food that we have just gotten under control in the last 6 months. This means that his eyes are growing along with him too. These MiSight 1 day lenses may be able to help him as well. So, why not?

There's hope

Today, I have hope. I’m proud of myself for all the things I’ve done right to help my boys have as healthy eyes as possible. The rest is out of my hands right now, and I’m okay with that.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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