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Multifocal contact lens effective at treating myopia in kids

Multifocal contact lenses for children with myopia can slow the progression of nearsightedness, providing a more effective and efficient treatment option.

Several studies in the past five years have shown that soft multifocal contact lenses with a center distance design can slow the development of myopia as well as elongation of the eye.

Multifocal lenses appear to be more effective than bifocal glasses and as effective as orthokeratology contact lenses. “Bifocal glasses slow the progression of myopia but only by a very small amount—in fact, they don’t provide clinically meaningful slowing of myopia progression,” Dr. Walline says. Orthokeratology, the process of wearing gas-permeable contact lenses at night to reshape the eye and temporarily provide clear vision without wearing glasses or contact lenses, also slows myopia progression and eye growth.

Children wearing multifocal lenses had 25 percent less myopia progression and 31 percent less axial elongation than those wearing single-vision lenses over two years, according to a 2014 double-blind, randomized, controlled trial of 221 Hong Kong children. The kids were ages 8 to 13 with myopia between -1.00 and -5.00 dioptres. Other studies showed an even greater treatment effect for the myopia group as compared with the control group.

The effect of slowing myopia progression became obvious when children wore the lenses for five hours a day, and the improvement increased if they wore them for seven hours a day or more, according to the study published in the January 2014 issue of the British Journal of Ophthalmology. The benefit was smaller when they reached eight hours.

Schedule an appointment at TSO Spring Klein in Spring, TX before school begins to help your child learn better and slow the progression of myopia.

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