The results of a new clinical study could give more hope to children with myopia. The study found that children as young as 7 years old who regularly wore high power bifocal contact lenses had less deterioration in their myopia than children who wore low power lenses or single vision glasses over a period of three years. This result suggests that these children may be able to retain more vision into adulthood.

Myopia tends to appear around the age of 7

Myopia is one of the most common vision problems in people under the age of 40. Although the causes are complex, environment and genetic makeup are thought to play an important role.

In particular, studies have shown that too much schoolwork and less time outdoors before preschool or school can lead to myopia.

This is probably because children spend too much time focusing on nearby objects when doing homework etc. Most often, eye disease occurs around the age of 7 and worsens, on average, in adolescence.

What are bifocal contact lenses?

Bifocal contact lenses are lenses characterized by exactly two different corrective zones. We speak of multifocal when more than two diopter ranges have been incorporated. With bifocal contact lenses, the transition between the two areas is abrupt. This means that seeing things clearly at a medium distance is not possible or very difficult to achieve with bifocal lenses. However, this circumstance also depends on visual impairment.

Bifocal lenses consist of a near field and a far field. These two areas are directly below each other and there is a sharp edge between them. This way they ensure that when you look straight ahead you see distance and when you look down you see close.

Bifocal contact lenses
Bifocal contact lenses consist of a near field and a far field

Study brings new insights

In order to reduce or even stop the progression of myopia in the period from 7 years to adolescence in the best possible way, doctors have looked at different options. Among these options were special eye drops in addition to bifocal glasses and contact lenses.

Known as the BLINK (Bifocal Lenses In Nearsighted Kids) study, this latest study is the first to empirically compare whether soft, high-performance bifocal lenses are better than other types of contact lenses for children with nearsightedness. To measure whether people are nearsighted or nearsighted, ophthalmologists rely on a metric called diopters. If people are myopic, they will have a negative diopter compared to people with normal vision.

While single vision glasses or lenses and multifocal glasses or lenses can correct a person’s vision so they can accurately see distant objects and things, multifocal visual aids automatically add more diopters. This circumstance can improve vision in people whose vision is impaired in several ways. Bifocal contact lenses are the most common type of multifocal lens. The disadvantage of multifocal glasses is that the person’s field of vision becomes more restricted and it can be more difficult to get used to this model.

Nearly 300 children aged 7 to 11 were randomized into the study

As a result, these children received one of three types of contact lenses. The three types were high power bifocals with an additional 2.5 diopters, medium power bifocals with an additional 1.5 diopters, or single vision lenses. The children were then observed for three years.

The most important finding was that children with the strongest bifocal lenses had the least reduction in myopia.

Children wearing single vision lenses, on the other hand, saw the biggest decline. Although bifocal lenses for adults are often associated with headaches, migraines, and balance problems, children with the strongest prescription lenses have reported no additional side effects. Children’s eyes can probably compensate for this better.

The long-term consequence: less myopia than adults

The long-term effect of multifocal contact lenses indicates that children who wear such designs will be less myopic in adulthood and therefore suffer fewer vision-threatening complications such as glaucoma, retinal detachments, etc.

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