Myopia – or nearsightedness – has been known to creep up in children as early as birth, and as late as their teens. Often times, the answer for this problem is a choice between contact lenses and glasses.

Contact lenses themselves have changed significantly throughout the years. Whereas hard contacts used to be the rule, they are all but obsolete in this day and age.

Soft contacts are by far the most popular type of lenses prescribed and worn by not only children, but adults as well. However, recent studies have suggested that, when it comes to teenagers, soft contacts may not be the best choice.

Rigid Gas Permeables

GPs, or “gas permeable” lenses, are contacts that may appear at first glance to have little difference from the hard contact lenses of old. They are smaller than soft contacts and rigid in their construction. However, they allow far more oxygen to reach the eye than the old version of hard contacts, thus making them a much healthier choice.

GPs last longer than soft contacts, but they also usually take a little longer for the average patient to become accustomed. When it comes to adolescent myopia, however, there is evidence which suggests they may be the best solution.

How It Works

Due to the fact that rigid gas permeable lenses do not contour to fit the eye, but instead retain their shape, there is mounting opinion that GPs may be the best way to halt adolescent myopia. Their material keeps the lens shape perfectly and places a gentle, yet constant pressure on the eye, flattening the cornea and preventing further warping. (Read more about CRT lenses and orthokeratology.)

While this does not prevent worsening of vision in all cases, it may at least slow the process. Contact lens manufacturers such as RGP Labs and Coopervision develop rigid gas permeable lenses that could be the right choice for the myopic teenager.