Media contact: Jennifer Golden - 07976 439060, jennifer@igolenses.com.

Eye Health Week -Slowing Myopia with Overnight Contact Lenses Benefit 7 to 8 year-olds Most Says New study; Early Sight Tests Essential

Eye Health Week 2013 is promoting the need for regular sight test. This is particularly critical for children when myopia development is at its most aggressive. A recent study has found that overnight contact lenses, which are only worn at night, slowed the development of myopia (short-sightedness) in children and was most effective in 7-8 year olds. 

One such child to benefit from "myopia control" using overnight lenses is Erin Craddock, who has worn glasses since the age of two. Erin's prescription was increasing at over 1 dioptre per annum and by the age of 8 had risen to -7 dioptres. Erin's mother Rachael, whose prescription is -10 said "I didn't want her to get to eighteen with goodness knows how high a prescription. We decided to have her fitted with overnight contact lenses to see if they would help."

While myopia can be corrected with glasses they do not stop its progression. "Ages six to eighteen are the principle years for the development of myopia and research has shown that "child onset myopia" increases on average around -0.5 Dioptres a year. This is why regular sight tests for children from age six upwards are critical." says Geoff Wilson of The Contact Lens Practice, who fitted Erin's contact lenses.  

In the UK, one in five children aged five to 15 years and one in three aged 16 - 19 years now need vision correction1: children today are dramatically more short-sighted than their parents were three decades ago. High myopia doubles the risk of serious eye problems such as glaucoma and retinal detachment - time bombs for the future. However a quarter of parents in a survey for the College of Optometrists have never taken their child for a sight test2

There is a growing body of scientific literature supporting the use of overnight contact lenses to correct eyesight. In addition, the  two-year R.O.M.I.O Study3 found that fast myopia progression - greater than 1 dioptres per year (4 lines on an eye-chart), was 3 times greater in amongst 7-8 years-olds than in 9-10 year-olds. But in those fitted with special overnight contact lenses it was 60% less than in those wearing glasses.

The lenses, which are shaped like an upside down saucer, are worn while sleeping. They gently mould the cornea at a microscopic level. The area over the pupil is flattened so that images focus on the retina correcting the prescription. When the lenses are removed in the morning, glasses are not needed to see during the day.

Myopia, caused by the elongation of the eye from front to back is widely believed to be triggered by blur in the periphery of the retina. As well as flattening the centre of the eye overnight contact lenses also create a circular raised ring around the edge of the pupil resulting in a "plus prescription". This brings the peripheral blur into focus and is the secret to how the lenses halt or slow the progression of myopia.

It is two years since Erin was fitted with her overnight contact lenses and her prescription has remained stable and her eyesight is spot on. " I really like how these lenses have made me see again instead of wearing glasses, it makes your life a lot easier" concludes Erin.

Geoff Wilson, The Contact Lens Practice, Birmingham shares his children's eye health top tips:
• Children should have their eyes checked before starting school at three or four years old.
• Then every six months if both parents are myopic otherwise every 2 years from 6 onwards.
• Children as young as 6 can wear contact lenses.
• Young children may not realise they have blurred vision. If your child frowns, squints a lot or has trouble seeing the TV, he or she should be assessed by an Optician.
• Make sure screen time does not take over from other educational activities such as outdoor play, art, books and music. All these activities allow children to develop their vision.

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Notes
1 British Contact Lens Association
2 Britain's Eye health in Focus: College of Optometrists 2013
3 Retardation Of Myopia In Orthokeratology (ROMIO) a 2-year randomized clinical trial which included children aged 6 to 10 years who wore either glasses or overnight orthokeratology lenses. Investigative Opthamology and Visual Science 2012

 

Media Contact
For further information, images or experts please contact:
Jennifer Golden Tel: 07976 439060 Email: jennifer@igolenses.com

About iGO Overnight Vision Correction Contact Lenses
• A European CE marked medical device available in prescription through accredited opticians.
• Suitable for all ages - prescriptions up to -8.00D with astigmatism less than 1.50D.
• Initial design and fitting is from £200 plus from £50 per month for aftercare including all replacement lenses, cleaning solutions and eye checks.
• Children can claim an NHS allowance against the treatment.
• Interested consumers can visit www.igolenses.co.uk or contact 0844 7362579
• Geoff Wilson, The Contact Lens Practice, Birmingham treated Erin Craddock

About National Eye Health Week
The fourth NEHW takes place on 16-22 September 2013. Eye charities, organisations and health professionals are joining together to promote the importance of eye health and need for regular sight tests. Please visit www.visionmatters.org.uk  for further information.

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