If you are reading this article, you probably know a child that has progressive myopia. Now being myopic has obvious consequences, the main one being you can’t see things as clearly that are far away as opposed to things up close. High degrees of myopia have also been associated with increased risk for retinal detachments, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. These are conditions of the eye that have no cure and can lead to permanent vision loss.
Perhaps you have heard of the usual options for controlling myopia. There is orthokeratology, which involves a rigid gas permeable lens that you sleep with at nighttime. But some parents are hesitant having their children wearing hard contacts due to perceived comfort issues and lack of familiarity with this technology. There are also atropine eye drops as well but not all patients are enthusiastic about putting their children on prescription medications for up to a decade to control the myopia.
But what about using soft multifocal contact lenses for myopia control. A parent asked me about this today and there is a promising outlook on soft multifocal contact lenses to treat myopia and help curb its progression. There are some drawbacks of course, they do not do a good job correcting for astigmatism. A child has to wear the lenses during the daytime which can lead to dryness and irritation. Studies from Ohio State University thought that soft multifocals can reduce myopia progression up to 50%.
For those patients where orthokeratology is a scary option, soft multifocal contact lenses deserve a long and hard look for myopia control.