Envision Optical
Optometrist in QLD and NSW

Do contact lenses prevent nearsightedness (myopia) from getting worse?

November 19, 2013
Posted By: Envision Optical

Myopia is generally a progressive condition that sees the eye growing and changing in shape and the distance vision becoming increasingly out of focus. Glasses and contact lenses will correct for any prescription level at that point in time and sharpen the vision up. If the prescription further increases, then the vision will blur again and a stronger prescription will be prescribed. In recent years researchers have increasingly focussed their efforts on how to prevent myopia progressing and the best methods to do this. Standard myopic contact lenses with a single focal zone do not do this effectively; they simply correct the current visual defect. However research has shown that peripheral focus likely plays an important role in progression of myopia, so current recommendations are that Multifocal contacts that have distance vision in the middle of the lens and a zone of stronger power around this are a good option to try to slow down the rate of change. The best method currently available is ortho-k which is the fitting of specialised lens designs to cause a change of the shape of the eye surface, the cornea, enabling the patient to wake up, remove the lenses and see all day clearly with no contacts or glasses. The eye shape changes that occur with ortho-k have been found to reduce the rate of increase in myopia by 50-80% in multiple studies done on progressively myopic kids. This means that we are now recommending ortho-k as the best primary option for controlling the rate of progression of myopia. Given that high myopia is associated with increased risk of glaucoma, retinal detachment and other serious eye diseases, keeping the overall prescription at the lowest possible level is very desirable. Check out our website on refractive therapy for more information