3 Ways Myopia Stabilizes with Multifocal Soft Lenses
Cases of myopia, or nearsightedness, have increased exponentially over the past two decades. A 2016 study projects that the worldwide prevalence of myopia will increase from 23% to 54% between 2000 and 2050, with the incidence of high myopia (“high” indicating a more severe condition or high degree of nearsightedness) increasing from 3% to 10%. The risk for high myopia increases the younger a child is at the onset of the condition.
Several studies conducted over the last five years have found that multifocal soft contact lenses can slow the progression of myopia, or nearsightedness, among kids between the ages of 6 and 19 years. Multifocal soft lenses offer a very effective treatment option for this condition, which has become recognized as a global epidemic. Controlling myopia is essential to prevent an increased risk for other ocular conditions that can stem from it, such as glaucoma, cataracts, myopic maculopathy, and retinal detachment.
What are Multifocal Contact Lenses?
There are several options to treat myopia. They include vision correction through eyeglasses, traditional contact lenses, orthokeratology, and refractive surgery. Atropine drops can also be used to control myopia progression in children. While these options address vision correction or halt the advancement of myopia, they each fall short in accomplishing both as efficiently as multifocal soft contact lenses.
Multifocal soft lenses treat the underlying problem, making them stand out compared to other treatments. They offer vision correction and slow the progression of myopia. In addition, multifocal soft lenses provide visual freedom and support an active lifestyle that most children are accustomed to.
The soft multifocal lens is shaped like a bullseye, and it includes two separate sections that focus light differently. The center portion of the lens corrects nearsightedness, so that distance vision is clear. It accomplishes this by focusing light directly on the retina.
- The outer section of the lens uses focusing power to bring peripheral light rays into focus in front of the retina. The multifocal soft lens provides constant distance and near correction to the “treatment zone” of the eye, removing hyperopic defocus, which causes axial elongation of the eye and results in the onset of myopia. According to the National Institute of Health, achieving this type of synchronized correction has been proven to slow eye growth.
- Studies show more significant improvement (slower progression) in children who wore the lenses for upwards of eight hours per day than children who wore them for only five hours daily.
The design of the multifocal soft contact lens allows it to perform a dual corrective action that is enhanced when children wear the lenses for up to eight hours daily.
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Using Multifocal Soft Contact Lenses for Myopia: Optometrists Working to Change the Future Through Reduction Efforts Today
With a focus on the pediatric population, optometrists find that it is their duty to combat the current myopia epidemic to benefit future generations. All concur that using multifocal soft contact lenses is an excellent choice for correcting myopia in children. Not only do these lenses correct refractive error, but they will also prevent other ocular diseases.
Schedule a regular eye exam for your child, as it will ensure early detection and treatment of myopia, especially now as cases are on the rise. Early diagnosis and intervention will have a lifelong impact and support your child’s healthy vision for years to come. Between eye exams, you can try to prevent myopia from developing by encouraging your child to spend more time outdoors, which forces them to focus off in the distance more often and gives their eyes a break from staring at computer screens, tablets, and phones. Call Weston Contact Lens Institute and consult with one of our skilled eye care professionals to discuss other ways you can prevent childhood onset myopia in your household.
Testimonial from Lauren, Satisfied Myopia Patient
We had a great experience. All staff were friendly and helpful. Dr. Kramer was great with my daughter, provided ample information and gave us time to ask plenty of questions. Would definitely recommend!