By Jacqui Mayhew
Contact lenses for children to correct shortsightedness may become an essential means of treating vision problems and overcoming the high degree of adolescent resistance to wearing glasses which has been identified by the Singapore Health Promotion Board. All school age children in Singapore have their vision tested annually but many refuse to wear glasses to correct their shortsightedness - otherwise known as myopia - because they feel it is not cool to be bespectacled. Hence their vision defect remains untreated and they risk not only continued worsening of their myopia but also the chance that they will suffer from sight-threatening conditions later in adult life.
The extent to which children in Singapore are determined to avoid wearing glasses is demonstrated by the fact that poorer families are provided with vouchers by the Government to ensure that they can afford the necessary treatment. Yet some 60% of the vouchers were not redeemed in 2010 and it appears that even fewer will be redeemed in 2011 principally because the standard approach for optical practitioners in the country is to prescribe glasses rather than contact lenses for children . This clearly leads to resistance from children who feel that glasses make them look unfashionable or weak, especially if they are fashion-conscious or take part in sports activities.
One parent of a secondary school student said: 'My daughter tells me she doesn't want to wear spectacles because she feels people who wear spectacles look nerdy.' Yet given that myopia rates in Singapore - and in many other Asian countries - have increased dramatically over the past 30-40 years to upwards of 70%, endeavouring to treat shortsightedness at the earliest possible opportunity is critically important. For this reason, the launch of the new overnight ortho-k corrective contact lenses for children may provide the best solution. These bespoke lenses are only worn overnight whilst sleeping then removed each morning after which the wearer enjoys perfect vision all day long.
Check if your child is suitable for overnight ortho-k corrective contact lenses for children