Multifocal contact lenses for myopia management
The rapid growth of myopia across the world in what is called an epidemic, has created a huge increase in attention by the contact lens companies to come up with a product that will prevent progression.
Why does myopia or nearsightedness need to be managed?
As a child’s prescription increases, they are at a greater risk for eye diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, and retinal detachment. Fortunately, multifocal contact lenses are a standard form of treatment using managing progressive myopia to ensure a child’s prescription maintains at a stable level.
Most multifocal contact lenses for myopia management are made as daily disposable contacts which are safe and young children and have been shown to be greatly favored by children for a variety of reasons. Contacts prevent sports injuries, enable better vision, increase social acceptance, and are easy to use.
What are multifocal contact lenses and how do they work?
Multifocal contact lenses are made where specific zones of the contact lens has a specific prescription in place. The goal of these lenses is to stop something called peripheral hyperopic defocus.
Peripheral Hyperopic defocus is when light passes through your eye but falls behind the retina in the periphery. Because the light is not being directed properly, modern research suggests that the body’s chemistry well change in response to these signals. The final result leads to the eyeball elongating or increasing its axial length, which leads to myopia progression, and It ultimately compromises the structure of the eye. Although the child’s vision is easily corrected by glasses, the structural damage has happened and can’t be restored. This is why many eye diseases are linked to myopia progression.
Multifocal contact lenses or lenses designed to slow myopia progression by directing the light to reach the retina correctly and help a child see their best.
As our optometrist and contact lens specialist Dr. Schwartz says;
“The development in contact lens design is amazing, but one of the most incredible is the situation with contact lenses used for myopia management. As little as a few years ago, there was not a commercially available product, and today there seem to be new products every time I look.”
Common Questions: Contact Lenses For Children
What Age Should My Child Wear Contacts?
Contact lenses in young children is perfectly safe and widely favored by both the child and the parent in multiple studies. The main question to ask the parent is if the child is mature enough to follow the instructions of proper care.
Because of the importance of slowing down the progression of myopia in young children who are most prone to high myopia, parents should seriously weigh the benefits and negatives of contact lenses in young children.
Why can’t my child wear glasses to correct their vision?
Many of our patients from Scarsdale and Hartsdale ask us if glasses are a suitable option instead of contact lenses. This is often due to the safety concerns involving contact lenses, and the Simplicity involved with my glasses.
Research indicates that standard single vision eyeglasses fail to help slow a child’s progressing myopia, while specially designed contacts do. Multifocal contact lenses are preferred for myopia management, but if the child can’t wear contact lenses, multifocal or progressive eyeglasses are often recommended.
One of the interesting ideas related to this question is that teaching children at a young age the proper method of care for contact lenses actually makes them less likely than adult wearers to have complications. A child who learns how to properly take care of your contact lenses, we’ll treat it as a normal activity and be consistent with its upkeep much like brushing your teeth. However, when a child is older or even a young adult, it’s harder for them to get adjusted to the routine of properly caring for contact lenses.