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Join Myleene Klass and Brilliant Futures with MiSight 1 day to champion your child’s eye health and learn more about myopia

This article is in partnership with Myleene Klass

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” It’s a question most of us were asked as kids. Perhaps it was to travel the world? Write a book? Or maybe just train whales after watching Free Willy on repeat… just us? Fast forward to now, and whatever ambition your own child has, chances are you want to champion them every step of the way.

That means making sure they have the tools they need to succeed, including clear and comfortable vision. Ready for a surprising stat? Myopia – or short-sightedness – affects around 80 million children worldwide, a figure set to rise sharply by 2050. The average onset age of this common eye condition is getting progressively younger, too; in 1983 it was 11 years old, while in 2000 it was eight.

Thankfully, there are things you can do to recognise myopia and look after your child’s eyes. So, whether they dream of exploring the Amazon, saving the planet, becoming a vlogger, working with animals or are simply open to a world of possibilities, you can ensure they can see clearly.

What is myopia?

Myopia, also known as short-sightedness, is a common eye condition that causes distant objects to be blurry and out of focus, while close objects can be seen more clearly. It usually happens when the eyes grow slightly too long (potentially thanks to a combo of genetics and environmental factors), which means they can’t create a clear image of objects in the distance.

Children have a 31% chance of developing myopia if one parent is myopic, and this rises to a 46% chance if both parents are.

How can it affect children?

As their eyes grow and myopia increases, so can a child’s dependency on glasses. A recent CooperVision survey found that while a fifth of children say myopia won’t stop them achieving their dreams, another fifth feel like they’re falling behind at school because of it. Untreated or increasing myopia can also lead to eye health problems in the future, such as retinal detachment.

Myleene Klass shares her story

“I’ve had myopia (short-sightedness) since I was four years old. As a child, I would sit so closely to my sheet music or virtually on top of my workbooks at school. I was wearing glasses, squinting through the day, and then had the added fear of taking them off after hiding behind them all day!

“Myopia is known to run in families, so I’m always asking my kids about their vision, as it’s easy for them to get used to poor sight and forget to ask for help. I don’t want them to experience everyday things differently to other people or for it to impact their dreams.”

Spotting the signs of myopia

The first step on the road to ensuring your child receives the appropriate management for myopia is to be aware of the telltale signs. These can include headaches or tired eyes; struggling to read the school whiteboard; sitting close to the TV; and regularly rubbing their eyes. Even if you don’t have concerns, it’s still important to get your child’s eyes checked regularly by an optometrist.

Managing myopia

While myopia can be easily corrected with prescription glasses and contact lenses, MiSight 1 day is the first soft contact lens proven to slow the progression of myopia. Specially designed for kids, this daily disposable contact lens is suitable for myopic children as young as eight years old. The lens features ActivControl technology, which allows a child to see clearly while slowing myopia progression. Wearing MiSight 1 day contact lenses is shown to reduce myopia progression in children by 59% on average*, helping to reduce their reliance on vision correction as well as future eye health risks.

“As a parent, it’s reassuring to know that you can now do something to help protect your child’s eyesight – that’s why I’m supporting CooperVision’s Brilliant Futures campaign to prioritise our children’s eye health. Many health checks stopped during the pandemic, and myopia is on the rise as we’ve spent so much more time at home and in front of screens. So don’t put it off – book an appointment with your optician,” says Myleene.

Your child can try MiSight 1 day contact lenses for free at Boots Opticians before joining the Brilliant Futures Myopia Management Programme.

Book an eye test and free contact lens assessment and trial** at boots.com/opticians or call 0345 125 3752***

Photography: Stocksy
*If the lenses are worn for at least 10 hours a day, 6 days a week.
**Trial is subject to availability and includes up to five pairs of daily disposable lenses. Excludes current MiSight contact lens wearers.
***Local call rates apply. Mobiles charges may vary