By Jody Johnson-Pettit
The key to children’s vision is the perfect lens.
Optical companies have designed lenses that not only can correct and improve a child’s eyesight, but also protect their eyes from potentially harmful ultra-violet or blue light and guard the lenses against scratches and impact.
At Hoya Vision Care Canada, the Eye-M-Growing Kids program uses Hoya’s state-of-the-art Phoenix lenses, which are 60 times more impact-resistant than standard plastic. The lenses are extra thin and ultra-lightweight.
“We proudly support children’s eye health and safety awareness,” says Teresa Schiavone, sales strategy and marketing supervisor at Hoya.
“The program offers a substitute pair of lenses within 16 months of the original order for any reason. This enables you to accommodate your young patient’s changing visual demands, when they occur.”
The Eye-M-Growing Kids program is available to children 16 years of age or younger. Made with premium lens material, the lenses available through the program are highly impact resistant, extremely strong and protect sensitive young eyes from the sun.
Toronto-based Plastic Plus also manufactures a lot of lenses for children, according to president Paul Faibish.
“On top of our regular work, we’re part of the Eye See…Eye Learn program where we provide free lenses to any junior kindergarten child in the province,” he said.
The best lenses for children, according to Faibish, is a polycarbonate lens with UV 420 protection.
“We have a huge inventory of both finished and semi-finished product that eliminates blue light up to 420 nanometres with virtually no residual colour. In my opinion, that’s what all children should be wearing,” he said.
Polycarbonate lenses are highly impact resistant, which Faibish said ensures a child’s eyes remain safe.
Essilor has also created lenses to both protect a child’s eyes and correct their vision, so they can grow into their full potential.
Airwear polycarbonate is the material of choice for children, as it resists impact up to 12 times more than a regular plastic lens, is very lightweight and protects from UV rays, says Martine Ahier, senior marketing manager at Essilor Canada.
By adding one of the Crizal coatings, UV protection is increased and clarity of vision maximized.
Also, the choice of any lens from the Essilor Blue collection will provide the protection and relief that children need from harmful blue light to which they are being overexposed, both indoors and outdoors.
“We have a specific range of products for children that simplifies the selection process for parents and ensures the best protection for kids,” says Ahier.
“The crystalline lens of a child lets through six times more harmful radiation than that of an adult, and they are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of UV radiation and blue-violet light. Providing children with the best visual solutions is an investment in their future.”
Also from Essilor, Eyezen + First lenses respond to the needs of today’s connected child with W.A.V.E. Technology that provides better sharpness and contrast, while integrating protection against harmful blue light. These features alleviate screen-related eye fatigue.
Meanwhile, Myopilux lenses correct and stabilize children’s myopia. There are two designs: Myopilux Plus for wearers with esophoria that has been shown to reduce myopia evolution by up to 38 per cent; and Myopilux Max for those with exophoria, proven to reduce myopia evolution by up to 62 per cent.
Essilor also offers Essilor Junior for wearers up to 15 years old. It combines Airwear lenses in clear or Transitions, Crizal, and blue light protection with a 15-month lens replacement program.
Nikon Optical Canada manufactures two lenses, Juveo and Kids, that are specifically made to protect the eyes of active children.
“Juveo lenses specifically come in Transitions and with a blue light filter coating so children are protected in all circumstances,” says Lora Discenza, national marketing director, Nikon Optical Canada Inc.
With Transitions photochromic technology, Juveo lenses darken on exposure to light and return to their clear state when indoors. They also block 100 per cent of UVA and UVB rays.
Juveo lenses are also coated with Nikon SeeCoat Blue UV to further protect against the exposure of high-energy blue light emitted by digital devices.
Kids’ lenses by Nikon are available in two distinct packages. The performance package offers a superior optical performance lens with anti-glare and scratch resistant coatings. The lenses are available with Transitions Signature VII, grey, brown and graphite green options, and SeeCoat Blue coating. The resistance package is made of safe and impact resistant materials with HCC that eliminates glare and provides scratch resistance.
Transitions lenses are an ideal choice for children as they block 100 per cent of UVA and UVB rays and help to filter harmful blue light, both indoors and outdoors. They also reduce painful glare, allowing children to see their best in any light condition, reducing eye fatigue and improving visual comfort.
“To make the ideal kids’ package, parents can add polycarbonate for important impact resistance,” says Isabelle Tremblay-Dawson, business development director at Transitions. “There are also many good reasons to include AR in your prescription for kids. The vision and aesthetic improvements AR provides helps facilitate a positive experience and gives kids clear and comfortable vision – reducing glare and reflections in polycarbonate lenses and from digital devices.”
For an everyday lens option, Centennial Optical offers CHOICE BluSelect Polycarbonate lenses.
“There are several important features and benefits that ECPs and parents should look for in selecting lenses for children,” says Rick Leroux, director of marketing & communications, lens divison at Centennial Optical Limited.
He encourages high-impact protection for physically active patients, anti-reflection coatings, as well as UV and HEV light protection.
Polycarbonate is a good lens material choice for children since it provides high impact protection and lightweight comfort. CHOICE BluSelect lenses are virtually clear lenses and are fully compatible with anti-reflection coatings. For indoor wear, they are ideal for students dealing with prolonged exposure to HEV light, including fluorescent and LED lighting and digital screens.