Abiliti Contact Lenses

Myopia Control with abiliti

Myopia (or nearsightedness) is the inability to see distant objects clearly. Nearsighted individuals see better near than far. Myopia is often the result of an elongated eye, or longer axial length on average, that inaccurately focuses light in front of, rather than, on the retina. The retina is the photographic film at the back of the eye. So why is myopia a problem, besides having to wear vision correction?  Higher levels of myopia are associated with a higher risk of eye disease. Longer eyes are more susceptible to the following diseases that can cause vision loss:

As shown below, distant objects such as street signs or chalkboards are seen blurred.

What are the risk factors for myopia?

Parental myopia, myopic siblings, Asian ancestry, myopia that appears before the age of 7, rigorous academic pursuits (high near visual demands) particularly at younger ages, and limited outdoor activity all can be used to predict myopia and its progression to high myopia. Patients with high degrees of myopia experience a poorer quality of life than those with low to moderate myopia. Refractive surgery can also be affected, with outcomes generally better in patients with lower prescriptions. Myopia control therapy can help change the future of your child’s myopia progression and significantly reduce the risk of future visual impairment.

Take this 1-minute survey to determine your child’s risk factors for myopia development and progression.

Myopia Control Therapy

So what are the options for reducing the natural progression of myopia that occurs as a child ages? There are now plenty of treatment options. Many factors go into determining which is the best course of action for your child.  First, we look at the age of the child – the younger myopia starts, the worse it gets. Their current prescription – the higher it is, the higher it is likely to go. The rate of change – if we have a history of change, we act on it accordingly. Family history (genetics) of myopia – if both parents are myopic and/or older siblings have myopia, the risks of progression are much higher. The activity level and hobbies of your child – lots of reading and lack of outdoor activity are associated with greater risk.  The ease of instituting these treatments, both from a cost and adaptation will be considered for the purposes of compliance success. What are the relative success rates of each therapy and do the parameters of the treatment align with what your child needs? Once a plan has been devised, our office can provide the necessary training/counseling and furnish vision correction aids. Progress visits will be scheduled at intervals of 3 to 6 months typically to monitor and modify treatment as necessary. What we do not want to do: go longer than recommended between eye assessments, under-correct for myopia or fail to take any action.

Treating Myopia with abiliti Contact Lenses

The Abiliti lens is the latest technology in daily disposable contact lens treatment for myopia prevention.  It is the first daily disposable contact lens aimed at reducing myopia progression while providing UV protection and is made of breathable silicone-hydrogel material. It is well-tolerated in children from ages 7 and up.

The world’s first 1-day soft contact lens proved to slow axial length within the first 6  months.

  • Abiliti™ 1-Day lenses are not traditional concentric ring presbyopic design lenses1. Abiliti™ 1-Day lenses are a breakthrough innovation specifically designed to slow myopia progression in children and have been shown to reduce axial elongation by 0.105mm on average over a 6-month period
  • The lenses are built from silicone hydrogel (senofilcon A) lens material, the same material as ACUVUE® OASYS 1-Day contact lenses, which have never been beaten in comfort

Let’s Protect Your Child’s Vision

Myopia Control Therapy is an investment in your child’s future eye health and well-being. With increased screen time at the expense of outdoor activities, myopia is growing at epidemic proportions. By 2050, half the world’s population, or 5 billion people, will be myopic. A number of treatment options exist that have been found to diminish the eye’s axial lengthening and the corresponding myopia progression. After conducting a thorough health and vision assessment, Dr. Sciberras will determine the treatment modalities best suited for successful compliance and myopia control. At times, more than one viable option exists, and the decision will be made after deliberate consultation between the doctor and parents. We are 100 percent committed to providing you with the best value in eye care and eyewear. We strive to provide all patients with clear, comfortable vision with the best lens technology and the most convenient modality for your child. We have an obligation to make the science and research available to you to ensure long-term eye health for your child.

Early intervention through regular eye exams and myopia control therapy is the best way to maintain healthy eyes and vision preservation for your child. To learn more about this topic, and to calculate your child’s future myopia based on their specific risk factors, visit:

www.myopia.care or www.MyKidsVision.org

You can also sign up for the Myopia App. This digital device app measures how closely the device is being held and darkens the screen if it’s held too close, revealing the screen again when it’s held back at the ideal distance or further. Developed by a partnership of scientists and optometrists, early research on this app has shown it effectively modifies screen time behavior, making a dramatically positive difference to the demand placed on the eyes.

To learn more about children’s vision and its importance to learning, click here.

A Word About Astigmatism

Astigmatism can accompany nearsightedness. It is the result of an eye that is shaped like a football. It causes light to be focused at two distances within the eye, instead of one. The one place light should be focused in order to have clear vision is the retina. Astigmatism can cause blurred vision at near and far distances. This can result in headaches, eyestrain, and squinting. Astigmatism can be corrected with either glasses or contact lenses.

Importance of Regular Exams

Vision is a gift and should never be taken for granted. Dr. Sciberras can detect eye disease in the absence of symptoms and can determine risk factors for future eye disease. Some of the symptoms your child may display in the presence of myopia includes frequent eye rubbing, squinting, sitting closer than normal for reading and viewing tasks, turning their head to the side, complaints of tired eyes, or inability to recognize signs or people from a distance.

Recommended Screen Time

  • 0-2 years of age should have no screen time. Watching a screen at a young age can limit time for active play and learning, reduce opportunities for language development and inhibit their attention skills.
  • Children aged 2-5 years should have a maximum of 1 hour per day. Infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers should not be inactive or sedentary for more than one hour at a time, except for sleeping. In this age group, excessive screen time is associated with less outdoor, creative and active play time; poorer language skill development; poor social skills and an increased risk of obesity.
  • Children of school age (5-17 years) should be limited to 2 hours of recreational screen time per day. When using screen-based electronics, positive social interaction and experiences are encouraged. Sleep is also so important in this age group. Children aged 5-13 years should have an uninterrupted 9 to 11 hours of sleep per night and 8 to 10 hours per night for those aged 14–17 years. Consistent bed and wake-up times are very helpful, as are restricting screen time 2 hours before bed and removing screens from the bedroom where possible. 
  • Apply the 20-20 Rule:  take a break from reading or screen time every 20 minutes for 20 seconds. He or she should look across the room to relax the focusing muscles in the eyes before commencing near viewing. This can be managed as a break between book chapters, between Netflix episodes for tweens and teens, or timers set for younger children.

Book your child’s next eye exam hereYour vision matters to us.