Contact lenses to treat myopia in children

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Cairo: Dr. Hani Ramzi Awad

Myopia is a common problem that occurs to children. It is most often discovered at the beginning of school. The child complains of not being able to see or follow lessons like other peers.
Despite the prevalence of the problem and the ease of solving it by wearing eyeglasses, leaving it or delaying treatment can lead to many complications from deteriorating vision that may later lead to a cataract (cataract), or an increase in eye pressure (glaucoma). , And retinal detachment.

Contact lenses and
for children, eyeglasses were the best option. And when contact lenses first appeared, they were not used extensively for children due to the difficulty of taking care of them. But recently, many types of suitable for children have appeared and were approved for use last November by the US Food and Drug Administration.
A recent American study revealed the possibility that bifocal contact lenses are able to protect children from vision deterioration, especially since the myopia problem in the whole world has been on the increase for nearly 50 years. For example, in the early 1970s, only 25 percent of Americans suffered from it, and in 2004 the percentage was 33 percent, and it is expected that the percentage will become 54 percent around the world by 2050, and an increase in myopia is also expected. Severe high myopia, 10%.
There are some reasons that can play a role in the infection, such as the genetic factor, as myopic parents give birth to children who suffer from myopia as well.
The study, published in early August of this year in the Journal of the American Medical Association, was conducted by doctors from Ohio University in the United States. She indicated that these lenses (which enable the child to look and read at the same time or provide two levels of vision) slow the increase in myopia by 43 percent more than monofocal lenses, and that the greater the lens power, the less myopia progression.
They explained that it is an ideal solution for children as an alternative to glasses, especially since modern theories that explain the cause of myopia indicate that it is a result of the way the light is focused on the eyeball that leads to the elongation of the eyeball. The further the eye extends, the light falls before the retina, and thus the child cannot see distant objects while he can see close objects clearly.
This is the opposite of the previous interpretation, which indicates that the great focus that the eye exerts on seeing distant objects is what leads to its elongation and thus the increase in myopia.

Bifocal
lens The idea of ​​a bifocal lens is based on integration, so that the middle part of it acts as a medical glasses and corrects myopia. It enables the child to see a sound and clear of distant objects by directing the direct light directly to the retina, and at the same time the peripheral part of the lens creates a collection of light from the extremities and also directs to the retina in a manner similar to “zooming” the camera, so that the child can see a complete image.
This combination of the two functions seems to disrupt the elongation of the eye, and thus reduce the increase in myopia, as it corrects vision and treats the cause of the elongation, unlike monofocal lenses that correct vision only. It thus provides protection from rapid deterioration of eyesight, especially since children can wear these lenses from the age of seven, which is a safety factor with matters that strain the eyes with technical progress such as an increase in time spent in front of screens for children, which may be the main reason. In increasing myopia globally. The earlier a child develops myopia, the greater the chance of complications.
Researchers examined 290 children from Ohio and Texas between the ages of seven and 11 who were all short-sighted. And contact lenses were distributed to them randomly. There are children who received bifocal lenses with a great ability to collect peripheral light, medium capacity, or monofocal lenses, and they were followed for 3 years and were instructed to wear these lenses as long as possible in the day.
The result was that large-strength bifocal lenses were successful in reducing the frequency of myopia growth, whereas medium-power or monofocal lenses did not do so by 43 percent during the three years. Also, the large capacity lenses did not lead to eye harm due to wearing for long periods, even when children need to spend more time reading.
The researchers emphasized that more studies are needed, of course, to know the long-term effects of such types of lenses and the possibility that the lens friction with the cornea may lead to side effects that impede its work in the future and the ideal number of hours for wearing it. But so far children can handle these lenses on their own and wear or take them off before bedtime at an early age (7 years) safely.

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