Multifocal contact lenses (MFCL) may help inhibit the progression of myopia in young patients, according to a study published in Clinical Ophthalmology. Secondary findings revealed that MFCL yields the best results when myopia is diagnosed before a period of intensive growth.

Researchers evaluated the influence of soft contact lenses on the progression of myopia in children and adolescents. The observational study consisted of 102 patients separated into 3 groups: MFCL (n=24, mean myopia -3.12±1.776 D, age range 8-20 years), single vision contact lenses (SVCL) (n=35, mean myopia -2.88±2.122 D, age range 11-20 years), and a spectacle group (n=43, mean myopia -1.74±1,412 D, age range 8-18 years). Group membership was determined by patient and parental preferences.

The investigators conducted a medical examination on all participants at baseline, and at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. They assessed refractive error via refractometry after administering cycloplegic drops. 


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An analysis of myopia progression after 2 years revealed differences between the MFCL and spectacle groups. There was a statistically significant difference in myopia progression between MFCL vs SVCL and MFCL vs the spectacle group, particularly when myopia preceded a period of intensive growth. Investigators, however, did not observe these differences when myopia followed a period of intensive growth. Binocular dioptric changes were -0.23, -0.54, and -0.86 for the MFCL, SVCL, and spectacle groups spanning the 2 years, respectively.

“Significant differences were observed in inhibiting the progression of myopia in patients wearing multifocal contact lenses compared to patients wearing single vision lenses, although the control of myopia in the group of patients wearing single vision lenses was more effective than in the group of patients corrected with glasses,” according to investigators. “Multifocal lenses should be considered in the control of myopia because of the statistically significant difference in the progression of myopia between patients using spectacle correction or single vision contact lenses.”

Study limitations include a relatively small sample size, ethnic homogeneity among participants, and a lack of randomization. 

Reference

Malinowski A, Mrugacz M, Stopa M, Filipek E, Moniuszko-Malinowska A, Czupryna P. A clinical study of the impact of soft contact lenses on the progression of myopia in young patients. Clin Ophthalmol. 2022;16:51-62. doi:10.2147/OPTH.S338199