Myopia Control Using Multifocal Lenses for Children
“Do not lie down while reading!”
“On the light!”
“Get further away from the television!”
Sounds familiar? I grew up having my parents remind me almost every day.
Statistics show that children are becoming shortsighted at a younger age. In fact, in certain parts of Asia, up to 80% of children are affected with some form of shortsightedness. I don’t know about you but I started wearing glasses at the young age of 8. Life was simpler then – We believed that eating more carrots and doing our homework beneath a bright light will help with the myopia. Well, it didn’t.
A little bit about Myopia
Myopia typically develops at a mere 6 to 8 years of age and progresses at half a dioptre (the measure of optical power) per year. Studies have shown that myopia progresses faster at younger ages and affects both sexes. Although there are no known interventions that stop myopic progression completely, there are a number of treatment options that can decrease its progression. We have seen an increasing interest in research to slow myopia progression—especially in children, given that the greatest amount of myopia progression happens before adulthood.
Multifocal Soft Contact Lenses as an Option for Slowing Myopia Progression
Multifocal contact lenses are special lenses that have multiple prescriptions in one lens. It aims to correct presbyopia as well as nearsightedness and/or farsightedness. The prescriptions usually include:
- A prescription for near objects
- A prescription for far objects
- A prescription for intermediate distances
Multifocal contact lenses are divided into 2 portions:
- Central Distance Portion – For the correction of myopia
- Peripheral Reading Addition – For the correction of peripheral hyperopia
Many studies have been done over the decade to prove that multifocal lenses will slow the progression of myopia. A one-year study found that children with centre distance multifocal lenses had 50% lower myopia progression as compared to a historical control group of single-vision soft lens wearers. Another similar four-year randomized, controlled study found about 40% less myopia progression in children. Notably, this reduction in progression was found throughout the four-year span of the study.
It’s not too late!
Whether you are intending for your child to start wearing contact lenses or simply checking out your own options, it’s never too late to get a thorough eye check-up with your trusted optometrist. Make an appointment today!