MiSight Contacts Lenses for Children With Myopia

Treatment to Slow the Progression of Myopia

MiSight Contacts for Children

andresr / Getty Images

MiSight contacts for children look just like normal, disposable, soft contact lenses. The lenses are worn for as long as a person is at risk for the progression of myopia (nearsightedness). The contacts are packaged in individual wrappers for daily use and then disposal at the end of the day.

What is Myopia?

Myopia is a common genetic condition of the eye—also known as nearsightedness— that affects 33% of adults in the U.S. (and a much higher number of adults in Asia). The condition is usually inherited; if a parent has myopia, it’s likely that their offspring will be diagnosed with it as well.

Although myopia is not considered a disease of the eye, but rather, a refractory error, the condition can lead to some serious problems and is linked with an increased risk for:

What Is a Refractory Error?

A refractory error is when the eye does not function properly in the way it bends light. This process of bending light is called refraction. Myopia causes images to be unclear; close objects may appear clear, but from a distance, objects may appear very blurry.

Children and Myopia

Astonishingly, according to a 2018 study, published in the journal Clinical Opthalmology, nearly 41.9% of kids today in the United States (from age 5 through 19) are considered myopic.

Some attribute a rise in myopia to the fact that children are spending more time indoors in front of digital screens (such as smartphones, computers, and tablets) these days. However, studies on this are mixed.

In children, myopia is usually discovered between the ages of 8 and 12. The condition often worsens during the teenage years (during rapid growth).

Myopia tends to worsen as children become adults. A person who develops severe myopia during childhood is at higher risk (compared to other kids) of developing other eye conditions (such as cataracts or detached retina) once they reach adulthood.

As teenagers grow into adulthood, myopia will continue to progress until around age 20. Once a person reaches the age of 20, myopia doesn’t usually worsen until after age 40.

MiSight Contacts for Children

In 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the approval of the use of MiSight contact lenses for children between the ages of 8 to 12 years old. MiSight helps to slow down the progression of myopia in kids that have refractory deficits, but no other type of eye problems. 

The contacts, made by a company called CooperVision, are meant to be worn as a first line of treatment for children with myopia. MiSight lenses are not intended to be worn overnight. But rather, a single soft contact is to be worn and then discarded at the end of the day.

How MiSight Works

MiSight works to help slow down the progression of myopia in kids with myopic ametropia (blurry vision from nearsightedness). MiSight lenses are placed directly on the eye; one part of the lens helps to correct the refractive error and improve distance vision in children who are nearsighted (just like a regular corrective lens works).

Another way that MiSight works for children is that the lens helps to focus part of the light in front of the retina (the light sensitive layer that lines the back of the eye), lowering stimulus that lends itself to the progression of myopia.

Who Qualifies for MiSight Lenses?

Keep in mind that not every child with myopia will automatically be recommended for treatment with MiSight lenses. There is a specific refraction rate—of 0.75 to 4.00—that a child must exhibit to be considered.

According to a 2019 news release by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), MiSight could help lower the risk of children developing other eye problems such as retinal detachment and other conditions.

MiSight lenses should be worn for as long as myopia is considered to be a risk. But, according to Myopia Prevention.org, missing a day (on occasion) of wearing the lenses will not adversely impact the long term treatment goals.

It is vital that children who wear MiSight lenses are able to be taught how to properly insert and remove their lenses. Of course, kids may need some adult supervision, but it’s important that children are mature enough to follow directions regarding how to care for the lenses, how long to wear them each day, and more.

Side Effects

Just like wearing regular contact lenses, the greatest risk of wearing MiSight lenses is reportedly infection and abrasion to the cornea (the outermost layer of the eye).

Following instructions on how to care for the lenses, how long to wear them, and adhering to regular follow up eye care visits, all lend themselves to lowering the risk of side effects from MiSight lenses.

Study

A 2019 study found that children aged 8 to 12 with myopia (enrolled in a 3-year, double-masked randomized study) realized an improvement in myopia. The study results showed that MiSight daily disposable soft contact lenses slowed changes in refraction and axial length.

Myopia causes changes in refraction while increasing the axial length (which is a measurement of the distance between the outside surface of the cornea and the fovea). The fovea is an area within the retina of the eye. The study was said to have demonstrated the effectiveness of MiSight lenses.

Note, the axial length of the eye is a measurement that denotes the distance between the anterior (front) and posterior (back) poles of the eye.

A Word From Verywell

While the effectiveness of MiSight contact lenses for myopia prevention in children is backed by some credible medical research, it’s important to understand that there is no guarantee that they will work. The eye may not respond as well as anticipated, some children realize better results from MiSight lens treatment than others.

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1.  Chamberlain P, Peixoto-de-matos SC, Logan NS, Ngo C, Jones D, Young G. A 3-year randomized clinical trial of MiSight lenses for myopia control. Optom Vis Sci. 2019;96(8):556-567. doi:10.1097/OPX.0000000000001410 

  2. Theophanous C, Modjtahedi BS, Batech M, Marlin DS, Luong TQ, Fong DS. Myopia prevalence and risk factors in children. Clin Ophthalmol. 2018;12:1581-1587. doi:10.2147/OPTH.S164641 

  3. Lanca C, Saw SM. The association between digital screen time and myopia: A systematic review. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2020;40(2):216-229. doi:10.1111/opo.12657

  4. Turbert D. Nearsightedness: What is myopia? American Academy of Opthalmology. Updated February 1, 2019.

  5. Food and Drug Administration. FDA approves first contact lens indicated to slow progression of myopia in children.  Updated November 15, 2019.

  6. MyopiaPrevention.org. Myopia prevention and control.

  7. CooperVision. MiSight 1-day soft contact lens package insert.