- Boots Opticians is highlighting the importance of children getting their eyes checked regularly, particularly at the start of a new school year
- It has launched latest technology to treat and slow down myopia, or short sightedness progression in children
- In the UK, a sixth of 12-to-13 year olds, and over a quarter of 15-to 16 year olds and young adults have myopia
As the new school year gets underway, Boots Opticians recommends that all children have their eyes checked by an Optometrist.
Among other things, a simple eye check can identify if a child has myopia, or shortsightedness, which can be treated or slowed down with latest glasses and contact lens technology, now available at Boots Opticians.
Myopia is a fairly common condition in children, with a sixth of 12-to-13 year olds, and over a quarter of 15-to-16 year olds being diagnosed with myopia in the UK. Myopia can often become more evident at school, as it impacts the ability to see things at a distance clearly, for example seeing details on a whiteboard in the classroom.
This condition can, however, be corrected using glasses or contact lenses, with Boots Opticians now offering solutions including MiSight 1 day contact lenses and glasses fitted with Stellest lenses.
MiSight 1 day – a 1 day contact lens designed with children in mind, has been shown to reduce myopia progression in children by 59%2 on average, resulting in a lower prescription. Stellest lenses have been proven to slow down myopia progression in children by 67% when compared to single vision lenses worn 12 hours a day3.
To book an eye test visit Boots Opticians.
Kyla Black BSc(Hons) MCOptom, Head of Professional Services and Capability at Boots Opticians, explains everything you need to know about myopia in children.
What is myopia and how is it treated?
“Myopia is a common eye condition where you cannot see objects far away clearly. This is something our optometrists are seeing more and more of in recent years, and it is typically corrected using glasses or contact lenses5.”
Are there any risks from not seeking treatment for myopia?
“Early detection and treatment is key. When myopia increases, there is an increased risk of certain ocular conditions and visual impairments later in life, such as glaucoma, a detached retina and cataracts. Young children with un-corrected myopia may go on to have a squint or a lazy eye.”
Why do we get myopia?
“The reasons vary for every patient. Genetics can be a big factor, as the risk of myopia in children increases if one or both parents are also myopic. Lifestyle can also be a factor, as prolonged near view tasks such as gaming and looking at portable devices, low levels of outdoor activity, and exposure to poor lighting daily, may all contribute.”
Is there anything I can do to prevent myopia in my child?
“My top three tips for preventing myopia are:
- It is really important to get your child’s eyes tested regularly at an opticians, particularly when they are four to five years old before they start school. There are some problems that can be detected immediately with an eye test, and if caught early, it is easier for them to be corrected.
- Limit your child’s screen time (especially hand-held devices) as much as possible. Remember the younger a child is, the less screen time they should have.
- Encourage your child to play outside as much as possible.”
How can I tell if my child has myopia and what can I do?
“Children don’t often complain about their sight, but they may show signs of not being able to see clearly. These signs can include difficulty reading words or numbers at a distance, sitting close to the TV, holding objects very close to their face such as tablets, blinking a lot, complaints of headaches or rubbing their eyes.
“Testing your child’s eyes as they go into full-time education means that any problems can be spotted early on.”
How do I select the best treatment for my child’s myopia?
“Your optometrist will typically give the option between glasses or contact lenses, and this is completely up to your child and their preference. They may wish to wear contact lenses if they are involved in sports for example. MiSight 1 day contact lenses have a proven ability to slow the progression of myopia using ActivControl technology, an optical design that provides clear vision whilst reducing the signal telling the eye to grow too long, helping slow the progression of myopia.
“Stellest lenses for glasses are designed with technology that corrects vision sharply in all gaze directions. The lens is fitted with a constellation of over 1,000 tiny lenses spread across one single lens preventing the eye elongation process in children, whose eyes are still developing.”
How can children get free NHS-funded eye tests?
“All children are entitled to free NHS-funded eye tests until they turn 16. In addition, they can also get an optical voucher to help pay for their glasses, which means many of our pairs are completely free for children.*”
 The dramatic rise of myopia in young people, Higher Education Policy Institute, August 2021
2Chamberlain P et al. Myopia progression on cessation of Dual-Contact contact lens wear: MiSight 1 day 7-year findings. Optom Vis Sci. 2001; 98(E-abstract): 210049.
3 Compared to single vision lenses, when worn by children at least 12 hours per day every day. Bao, J., Huang, Y., Li, X., Yang, A., Zhou, F., Wu, J., Wang, C., Li, Y., Lim, E.W., Spiegel, D.P., Drobe, B., Chen, H., 2022. Spectacle Lenses With Aspherical Lenslets for Myopia Control vs Single-Vision Spectacle Lenses: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Ophthalmol. 140(5), 472–478. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2022.0401
4 Short-sightedness (myopia), NHS, July 2023
*Stellest lenses and MiSight contact lenses are not covered by the NHS