Slowing the progression of short-sight
One of our Optometrists, Matthew Carter, has developed a keen interest and expertise in specialist contact lens fitting including fitting contact lenses for myopia control.
Myopia (or shortsight) is becoming increasingly more common. Although easily corrected with spectacles or contact lenses most people with myopia would prefer to be less reliant on glasses or contact lenses for clear vision. As such parents and young people with progressing myopia have often asked our Optometrists what can be done to stop their prescriptions getting worse. Until recently the answer was “unfortunately not a lot” and that there was no significant evidence that myopia progression can be slowed using glasses, contact lenses or eye exercises.
Over the past several years however things have changed… There is now a convincing body of scientific evidence that shows the rate of myopia progression can be slowed (by 50% on average) by the fitting of two special types of contact lenses. These are:
- OrthoK contact lenses
- Soft bifocal contact lenses
Normal contact lenses and spectacle lenses are known to present a blurred image to the peripheral eye despite giving clear central vision. This peripheral blur is thought to drive eye growth, the process responsible for increasing myopia. The optical qualities of OrthoK and soft bifocal contact lenses are known to reduce this peripheral blur and thus are thought to reduce the stimulus that drives eye elongation. This is evident as slowed myopia progression.
For more information and to find out if you or your child is suitable for myopia control, contact lenses or to book a fitting appointment, please contact us and speak to one of our Optometrists or member of our practice team.
The benefits of myopia control:
- Lower spectacle prescriptions mean thinner spectacle lenses.
- Few changes of prescription meaning glasses last longer.
- Clear vision during the day without wearing contact lenses or spectacles – with OrthoK contact lenses that are worn whilst sleeping.
- Clear vision without spectacles – with soft bifocal contact lenses that are worn whilst awake.
- Lower chance of becoming a high myope (prescriptions over about -6.00) – High myopes are at increased risk of a series of serious eye conditions including retinal detachment, glaucoma and myopic choroidal neovascular-membrane. All of these conditions have the potential to cause blindness.
- The added confidence and self-esteem boost that comes with contact lens wear and freedom from spectacles.
A word of caution
Whilst this is an exciting scientific development it is important to remember that at present these methods are known to slow progression of short-sight by 50% on average. This means that results cannot be guaranteed in an individual case. Some patients will slow by a greater amount whilst others may not slow by much.
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