A study that was just published (August 11, 2020) showed that children who wore multifocal contact lenses had slower progression of their myopia (nearsightedness). This study was funded by the National Eye Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. Investigators of the Bifocal Lenses In Nearsighted Kids (BLINK) Study published the results August 11 in JAMA.
Myopia (nearsightedness) increases the risk of retinal detachment, cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration, later in life. In this study, nearsighted children ages 7-11 showed that special contact lenses slowed myopia progression and eye growth.
More kids are becoming nearsighted at earlier ages, and that means that when they become adults, they will be even more nearsighted than the average we currently see. The higher the nearsightedness, the more likely you are to have sight-threatening complications as an adult, such as retinal detachment, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. The point is that anything we can do now to slow the progression of nearsightedness could ultimately benefit patients.
Myopia occurs when light cannot focus directly on the retina. The special contact lenses change how light focuses on the peripheral retina.
The common approach by most doctors has been to increase the eyeglass prescription each year, but that just is a stopgap measure. In our office we offer non-surgical ways to treat myopia progression, including vision therapy, orthokeratology (ortho-K), soft multifocal lenses, atropine, etc. We can discuss the virtues of each
Contact us if you are concerned about your child becoming more and more nearsighted each year. You can reach us at 732-679-2020.
Our office, Family Eye Care in Old Bridge, also serves the surrounding communities of Aberdeen, East Brunswick, Manalapan, Matawan, Marlboro, Monroe, Parlin. Sayreville, South Amboy, South River, Spotswood, Lawrence Harbor, Cliffwood Beach, and throughout New Jersey.
To learn more about myopia, visit https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/resources-for-health-educators/outreach-materials/myopia-nearsightedness