Dual-focus soft contact lenses outperformed spectacle lenses as a means of controlling myopia in children during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published in Ophthalmic Physiological Optics.
Researchers enrolled 22 children with myopia in the retrospective, observational study and randomized them to treatment with spectacles (n=11; mean age, 13.4 years) or dual-focus soft contact lenses (n=11; mean age, 12 years). Contact lens wearers wore their dual-focus soft contact lenses for at least 8 hours per day. All participants underwent cycloplegic spherical equivalent (SER) and axial length (AL) measurements at baseline and 1-year follow-up.
Participants in both treatment groups experienced more myopic SER and AL increases. Children treated with dual-focus lenses experienced a −0.14±0.09 diopter (D) change in SER and an AL increase of 0.13 ± 0.05 mm. Patients treated with spectacle lenses experienced a −0.54±0.16 D change in SER and a 0.25±0.08 mm increase in AL, revealing statistically significant differences between participants in both groups for both SER (P <.001) and AL (P <.05).
Time spent outdoors was limited for children in both groups during the lockdowns, and increased following a loosening of restrictions. Significant changes in the time spent outdoors during and after the lockdown was only noted for children in the spectacle group (P <.05) and did not change significantly for participants wearing contact lenses (P =.08). Despite this finding, dual focus contact lenses remained the more effective method of myopia control, according to the report.
“The results of this study show that dual-focus soft contact lenses maintained their effectiveness for myopia control despite lockdown measures and hybrid learning,” according to the researchers. ”Compliance with contact lens wear is important in order to maintain its effectiveness in controlling myopia progression.”
Study limitations include a retrospective nature and small sample size.
Cabanes-Martí E, García-Ayuso D. Myopia control with dual-focus soft contact lenses during the first year of measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. Published online July 27, 2022. doi:10.1111/opo.13031