By Michael Hutton 

Contact lenses for children  worn only while sleeping has been shown by recent research  that they could help prevent the progression of short-sightedness which could lead to serious eyesight issues in adulthood. This potential situation is described as a ‘crisis in the making' by Steve Dury, a Bristol-based optician due to today's children spending an excessive amount of time staring at computers, tablets and smartphones.

Not only is this concentration on near distance focusing likely to stimulate short-sightedness - referred to by opticians as ‘myopia', it may also create other significant eye health issues due to the extended exposure to the blue-violet light given off by these devices. Dury insists that low-energy bulbs and light-rays from our computers, smartphones and televisions all have a detrimental effect on our eyes over a long period.

Increasing numbers of opticians say that, although "good" blue light (blue-turquoise) is needed to help regulate biological clocks, extensive exposure to blue violet light can disrupt sleep patterns and affect moods, as well as potentially put us at greater risk of macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness. Combined with the potential for children to become more myopic at an earlier age, the risks to eye health fully merit the idea that a crisis is brewing. At least with this latter problem, the development of contact lenses for children  designed using the optical science of orthokeratology - or ortho-k for short - provides a treatment option which can stop childhood myopia continuing to worsen.

Overexposure to blue-violet light can lead to macular degeneration which reduces people's central vision. It can also result in cataracts, a clouding of the lens inside the eyes. Equally, high levels of myopia can similarly lead to serious eye health issues in later life. Given that the incidence of myopia amongst under 18's is increasing rapidly, ensuring they are fitted with ortho-k contact lenses for children  can help stop their myopia from worsening.

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