New campaign highlights the importance of annual pediatric eye exams


Johnson & Johnson Vision’s ACUVUE Abiliti brand announces its back-to-school campaign to inform parents about myopia and the growing risk of the disease

Children in classroom working on an assingment

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With the announcement of the ACUVUE Abiliti brand’s back-to-school campaign to bring myopia awareness and education to parents, Johnson & Johnson Vision is working to combat the disease’s trajectory.1 One in 3 children in the United States lives with myopia, or nearsightedness, which is a chronic and progressive disease where the eye becomes elongated.2-6

In the last 2 decades, the number of people with myopia has nearly doubled, and if left untreated, this disease can lead to permanent blindness.7,8 Teaming up with content creators, optometrists, as well as patients, Acuvue Abiliti aims to raise awareness around this growing public health crisis and advocate for annual eye exams for children.

Caroline Cho, OD, DuPage Optical, Addison, IL, has a firsthand understanding of the importance and significance of comprehensive eye exams for children. Cho has treated many patients in the Chicago area for myopia, including a patient named Alexander. Alexander started wearing glasses at a young age, and over time he began to complain of headaches and had trouble seeing the board at school.

“Eye health is critical to a child’s success, both in and out of the classroom. I know firsthand. As a child, I suffered from myopia and so did my own two children. As a mother and a doctor, my hope is that through the Acuvue Abiliti back-to-school campaign, more parents understand the importance of comprehensive eye exams," Cho said.

"Today there are great options to help manage myopia, including Abiliti Overnight lenses. They’re worn overnight while the child sleeps and temporarily reshapes the cornea, which typically eliminates the need to wear contacts or glasses during the day. This can offer great peace of mind for parents knowing their child has clear vision during the day and that we can manage their myopia.”

Alexander’s parents were concerned with the symptoms he was experiencing, and their pediatrician referred them to see an optometrist. After meeting with Cho, Alexander was put in Acuvue Abiliti lenses to wear overnight, according to his mom, Estephanie.

“Within less than a week of wearing the contacts, Alexander had 20/20 vision during the day, allowing him to go to school and play sports without needing to wear glasses or contacts,” she said. “His headaches went away, he was able to see the board at school, and his overall confidence improved.”

Similarly, Jason Hanna, Acuvue Abiliti brand partner and father of 2, said that they make eye exams a part of their back to school list to help combat the risk of myopia.

“As a parent of school-aged children, summer always seems to pass by in the blink of an eye and before you know it, we are running around town checking off every item on our back-to-school list,” Hanna said. “With myopia on the rise, we make it a point every year to schedule eye exams for both of our boys.”

Myopia affects 1 in 3 kids in the US, most diagnosed between the ages of 8 and 12 years.2,3,9 Because myopia often develops in earlier years, and because up to 40% of students with learning disabilities may have misdiagnosed vision issues, it’s critical for children to have comprehensive eye exams annually, beginning at age 5.10-12

“Alexander’s story is just one example of why I urge all parents to schedule an eye exam with their local eye doctor before their child heads back to school this fall. These exams can help supplement a quick eye test a child may receive at their pediatrician’s office,” said Cho. “And it’s important to note that no level of myopia is safe but if your child is diagnosed, there are many options available to help manage it.”

Sight for Kids will be hosting free comprehensive eye care exams for all eligible students at Keys Gate Charter School in Homestead, Florida on August 30. They will also be teaming up with local optometrists in coordination with Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired and their Florida Heiken Children’s Vision Program to feature a mobile screening unit.

“Eye health is key to children’s academic success and plays a role in early childhood development. In fact, 80% of classroom learning is done visually,”13 said Monica Jong, OD, PhD, Global Professional Education Lead for Myopia, Johnson & Johnson Vision. “This further reinforces the importance of overall eye health and how critical it is to our well-being, even for our children. At Johnson & Johnson Vision, we’re committed to changing the trajectory of myopia, and one step in that direction is driving parents to take action and schedule a yearly comprehensive eye exam.”

For every purchase of Abiliti Overnight lenses, Sight For Kids® will provide a free eye exam to a child in need.1

1. ACUVUE Abiliti Encourages Parents to Add “Eye Exam'' to the Back-to-School Checklist with New Campaign. Published August 3, 2023. Accessed August 3, 2023.
2. Vitale S et al. Increased prevalence of myopia in the US, 1971-1972, 1999-2004. Arch Ophthalmol. 2009;127(12)1632-1639.
3. Theophanous C, Modjtahedi BS, Batech M, Marlin DS, Luong TQ, Fong DS. Myopia prevalence and risk factors in children. Clin Ophthalmol. 2018 Aug 29;12:1581-1587
4. Flitcroft DI. The complex interactions of retinal, optical and environmental factors in myopia aetiology. Prog Retin Eye Res. 2012;31(6):622-660.
5. Donovan L, Sankaridurg P, Ho A et al. Myopia progression rates in urban children wearing single-vision spectacles. OVS. 2012;89(1):27-32.
6. Pärssinen O, Kauppinen M. Risk factors for high myopia: a 22-year follow-up study from childhood to adulthood. Acta Ophthalmologica. 2019;97(5):510-518.
7. Morgan IG, French AN, Ashby RS, Guo X, Ding X, He M, Rose KA. The epidemics of myopia: Aetiology and prevention. Prog Retin Eye Res. 2018 Jan; 62:134-149.
8. Holden BA, Fricke TR, Wilson DA, et al. Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050. Ophthalmology. 2016; 123:1036-42.
9. American Academy of Ophthalmology. Nearsightedness: What Is Myopia? 2022 September.
10. American Optometric Association. Annual Comprehensive Eye Exam.
11. Morgan IG, French AN, Ashby RS, Guo X, Ding X, He M, Rose KA. The epidemics of myopia: Aetiology and prevention. Prog Retin Eye Res. 2018 Jan;62:134-149.
12. Feis, A. Learning Difficulties? Have Your Child’s Vision Checked. Midwestern University Clinics. 2022 August.
13. Vision to Learn. UCLA Study: Impact Analysis of Vision to Learn.

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