Myopia Control Options
Ortho-K Vision Correction
Ortho-K Vision Correction involves wearing a custom-designed contact lens retainer overnight which reshapes the surface of the eye, giving clear vision the next day without the retainers.
As well as being convenient, the treatment actually significantly slows and, in many cases, stops myopia progression. Research shows up to 100% slowing of myopia progression depending on the study and how it was performed. Some studies suggest an average of a 63% reduction in the rate of myopia progression with Ortho-K wear. It should be noted that these studies used Ortho-K lenses designed for adults to see well.
The newest Ortho-K lenses that are designed for children’s myopia control show a better myopia control effect than normal Ortho-K lenses. The results from Visique, and from other myopia control practices in Australasia, using these cutting-edge designs, show complete halting of myopia progression in many children and teenagers.
Atropine Eye Drops
Atropine eye drops have been used for many years to try and control the progression of myopia. The higher concentrations used were good at slowing down change in myopia but they had issues with side effects. We now have clear evidence from large research studies showing that low concentration Atropine eye drops also reduce the progression of myopia and have a very low incidence of side effects.
In line with the latest research from the Low Concentration Atropine for Myopia Progression (LAMP) study, at Visique we use 0.05% concentration Atropine eye drops for this method of myopia control.
While the initial information we are getting from Australia and the United States shows us that atropine eye drops slow myopia progression for myopic children and teenagers, we don’t have conclusive evidence about how much it slows myopia progression long term, or how effective it is over the age of 12, but based on the LAMP research we do expect a good myopia control effect when using 0.05% concentration Atropine eye drops.
Soft Contact Multifocal Lenses
Soft Multifocal Contact Lenses that have been used to attempt to mimic the altered image shape on the retina that Ortho K achieves, which is the mechanism that makes Ortho K the most effective form of myopia control.
Unfortunately, there is a reduced ability to design and manufacture the degree of optical change required to copy the successful effect in Ortho K retainers. This means Soft Multifocal Contact Lenses don’t have the ability at this time to recreate the Ortho K effect to the degree required to have a similar myopia control effect, even in lower amounts of myopia. There has been no recognised research published to show how effective Soft Multifocal Contact Lenses are for controlling progression in higher amounts of myopia.
Soft Multifocal Contact lenses that have been produced for myopia control create a high level of thickness in parts of the contact lens, which has the undesirable side effect of reducing important oxygen transmission (breathability) to the cornea. This is something we strive to avoid at all times in all our clients and is even more important in young developing eyes.
In summary, Soft Multifocal Contact Lenses will provide some degree of myopia control in lower amounts of myopia, but the most reliable research to date shows up to 29% slowing of myopia progression. If you’re not suitable for Ortho K and still want your child to be independent of glasses while still seeing well for sport and other activities, then the evidence shows it is best to use atropine eye-drops in combination with normal daily disposable contact lenses to reduce the progression of myopia.
Progressive or Bifocal Glasses
Progressive and bifocal glasses have been used for several decades in an attempt to control myopia progression by reducing the amount of effort required for reading, computer work and other near tasks. As a result, there is a large body of research on whether this form of intervention is effective.
Several scientific reviews of the well-performed studies have clearly shown progressive or bifocal glasses have no more beneficial effect than normal single vision glasses and contact lenses in that they do not slow the progression of myopia.
Other types of myopia control glasses have been designed in recent years that have attempted to mimic some of the altered image shape on the retina that Ortho K achieves, but unfortunately, the most recent research shows there is no reduction in myopia progression using these glasses. These lenses also have the unfortunate side effect of high amounts of lens edge thickness and creating blurred narrow side vision.