MiSight 1 day available at Sarah Gibson Optometrist in Wincanton

Myopia will affect more than 50% of the global population by 2050

You may not have been aware of it but there is a developing epidemic of myopia (shortsightedness). Myopia is characterised by an elongation of the eyeball as a child grows, making distance vision blurry and potentially leading to problems with eye health later in life. There is a worrying increase in the prevalence of this condition.

Optometrists, ophthalmologists and other health care professionals have puzzled over this for many years, and there is still no clear reason why myopic development occurs, or why the numbers are increasing so much.

It would appear that it is a combination of nature and nurture.

There is certainly a genetic link, in that children of myopic parents are significantly more likely to become myopic, but that does not explain every case of myopia, nor does it explain why it is increasing so rapidly. There is much finger pointing at the amount of close work that we do now, and the amount of time spent indoors glued to screens, and this is believed to have some effect as time outdoors has been shown in some studies to slow the onset of myopia. It does not however seem to slow the progression of myopia once it has started.

The truth is that we still don’t have all the answers and research is continuing. What we do know is that it would be wrong to do nothing when we could do potentially so something.

So, what’s the problem? Isn’t Myopia solved by glasses, contact lenses or laser surgery?

The blurred vison is corrected by these things but that doesn’t solve the underlying problem.

The issue is the underlying medical problems that potentially accompany myopia over a person’s lifetime. These include structural abnormalities such as glaucoma, retinal degeneration, retinal tears and detachments, as well as the possibility of loss of central vision by myopic macular degeneration. Unfortunately, all these conditions are potentially blinding.

Some of the brightest clinical researchers across many countries have been working for years to come up with a solution to the problem. Optometrists now have a new licensed product with evidence-based scientific proof that myopia can be controlled and myopic development slowed. This product, the unique MiSight 1-day lens, is now available at Sarah Gibson Optometrist in Wincanton.

We have been offering OrthoKeratology (OrthoK) or Overnight Vision Correction with EyeDream lenses for a number of years but these rigid lenses do not suit everyone. Now we have another option.

MiSight lenses were launched in the UK after data from two years of a multi centre trial (Canada, UK, Singapore and Portugal) showed anything up to a 59% reduction in shortsightedness. In simple terms this means that, compared to wearing normal spectacles or contact lenses, a child might have less than half the amount of shortsightedness simply by wearing a scientifically designed correcting lens for at least ten hours per day for at least six days per week.

There is strong evidence linking increasing myopia with ocular conditions which could result in future sight loss, therefore it is recommended that the MiSight lens should be fitted as early as possible once myopic progression has been established. The MiSight lens is available in a range of prescriptions including those in the lower ranges. We would encourage the fitting of children of all ages in order to catch myopia in the early stages. The lenses are not designed to reduce existing Myopia – they can only work towards slowing down the speed of change. This is not an approach that can be dipped in and out of. Once started, there is a commitment to maintain therapy and management.

MiSight lenses are not available on the NHS and only available on a planned monthly payment programme which includes all ongoing professional eyecare services and supply of this unique product. The cost per month is £45.00 payable by direct debit.

Can young children really wear contact lenses?

There is no lower limit on the age of children who can be fitted with contact lenses. It depends on the maturity of the child and their ability to understand the process and follow instructions – we are happy to fit children as young as 7 years old with appropriate support from a responsible adult. In fact most children fitted with contact lenses are more responsible and look after their lenses better than many adults we see. It has been shown that children are very responsive to maintaining good habits and hygiene when fitted at a young age.

The fitting and supply of any optical appliance to those under 16 is highly regulated and not permitted by any other than registered optometrists, contact lens opticians and doctors.

Please note the fitting and supply of MiSight will require a signed informed consent procedure.