Myopia or nearsightedness control by Bifocal and Multifocal contact lenses

Spectacles and contact lenses are conventional ways to treat myopia or nearsightedness. Surgical treatment like LASIK and other refractive surgery can be done after 18 years of age, once the refractive power has been stabilized. Also, high myopia can be managed ICL or CLE (Clear lens extraction) if not managed by LASIK eye surgery. But most of the parents are worried when their child started wearing glasses for the first time. It’s well-known that once nearsightedness started, then the eye power will be weaker in the future. That means stronger glasses required to see clearly and every 6 months or yearly may need to change the spectacle with thicker glasses. Also, excessive axial elongation in high myopia can increase the risk of retinal detachment, glaucoma, cataract etc. It can be a leading cause of visual impairment. That’s why Myopia control is important. Myopia control means the slow progression of myopia.

Infographic: Myopia (Nearsightedness) Facts Recently few studies show that myopia can be controlled or myopia progression can be slow down. Currently, there are four types of methods available to control myopia.
  1. Atropine eye drops
  2. Bifocal or Multifocal glasses
  3. Bifocal or Multifocal contact lenses
  4. Orthokeratology (“Ortho-k”)

In this blog, I will discuss some results of myopia control study with Bifocal or Multifocal contact lenses. Main aim to prescribe Bifocal or Multifocal contact lens is to reduce relative peripheral hyperopia.

Bifocal contact lenses for control myopia:-

Bifocal contact lenses mean a contact lens for distance and reading, which typically worn after the age of 40 years old (Presbyopic patients).

But Bifocal contact lenses also plays a significant role to slow down the progression of myopia. Thomas A et al, published a study on OVS (Optometry and Vision Science Journal) about myopia control with bifocal contact lenses. Acuvue Bifocal soft contact lenses (BFSCLs) and Acuve2 single vision soft contact lenses were used in this study. 86 subjects were included between 8-18 years old and 79 subjects have completed the study. All subjects had near eso fixation and average refractive error was -2.69D. End of the showed that BFSCLs significantly slow down the myopia progression.


Multifocal contact lenses for myopia or nearsightedness control:-

Studies reported that Multifocal contact lenses help to reduce the progression of myopia, as well as axial elongation.

Walline J J et al published a 2 years study, done with Proclear Multifocal contact lenses which resulting 50% reduction in the progression of myopia and 29% reduction in axial elongation. In this study 8 to 11 old, 40 children were included and the refractive power was between -1.00D to -6.00D spherical and within -1.00D Cyl. The added power of Multifocal contact lenses was -2.00D for every patient.

In 2011, Padmaja S and her co-researchers published a study of one clinical trial with Chinese eye. The participants were between 7-14 years old with baseline refractive error between -0.75DSph to -3.50Dsph and cylinder power were less than -1.00D. 60 participants were fitted with the novel contact lenses. Almost after a year, the axial elongation 33% less and myopia progression were 34% less for novel contact lens wearer than spectacle wearer.

Another study was done at The University of Auckland, New Zealand between 11-14 years old children in June 2011. In this study, 70% of participants’ myopia progression reduced 30% or more in the eye that they wore soft dual focus Multifocal contact lenses.

Note: – Single vision spectacles and contact lenses are commonly prescribed to correct nearsightedness in children. Bifocal and Multifocal spectacles or contact lenses are prescribed very rarely. But Bifocal or Multifocal contact lenses can slow down the progression of myopia. Prescribing contact lenses to children is a little bit risky. Regular follow-up and supervision are very important for a child who is using soft Multifocal or Bifocal contact lenses for controlling Myopia. Myopia control service or expert not available in all eye hospitals of India. You can contact the best eye hospital in India for the myopia control service.


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Krishnendu Mandal

Optometrist, Blogger, Blogging since Jan 2016