Recent studies have shown that by wearing soft multifocal contact lenses daily, the normal increase in myopia can be reduced by 30 to 35%.
- A myope, age 8-10 years old, will increase .75 diopters per year until their mid-twenties.
- This can be reduced to approximately .25 diopters per year on average.
Daily wear of the lenses corrects the Relative Peripheral Hyperopia (RPH), which is the key to stopping the eye’s signal to elongate. The axial elongation is what causes increases in myopia and a corresponding increase in nearsightedness.
What are multifocal soft contact lenses?
Multifocal soft contact lenses (MFCLs) used in these studies are a specific design of center, near and peripheral asphericity. This corrects distance vision centrally and the RPH at the same time.
How new is the technology?
MFCLs have been available for 4-5 years, but the studies using them for myopia reduction have been published within the last 2-3 years.
Is it permanent?
No. Continued use of multifocal contacts is necessary to maintain clear distance and to correct the RPH that causes the nearsighted signals and corresponding axial elongation, increased myopia to occur.
Can everyone wear multifocal contacts?
Most children can be successfully fit with these lenses. Patients with astigmatism greater than -1.00 who are restricted from other forms of myopia reduction can be successfully fit with MFCLs.
How long does it take to reach good vision?
Multifocal contacts achieve good vision immediately. There may be some fitting adjustments necessary to correct the RPH effectively.
Are there any risks associated with multifocal contacts use?
The risks are similar to any other daily use contact lenses. Proper care and cleaning of the lenses minimizes this risk.
How often should I replace my multifocal contacts?
The lens design of multifocal contacts is created for monthly replacement. Level III lenses are quarterly replacement.
How do I care for my multifocal contacts?
Storage overnight in an approved care system including a cleaning regimen is needed. Some patients may have to do additional enzyme treatments to maintain clear and comfortable vision.
How much does myopia reduction with multifocal contacts cost?
The time involved with the initial therapy process exceeds that of a traditional contact lens fit. Therefore, the cost is greater. Your initial fitting, professional care, training, a 6-month follow-up appointment, and initial 6-month supply of lenses are included in the cost.
Why are 6-month follow-up appointments necessary with MFCLs?
The reduction in myopia that occurs with MFCLs is dependent upon maintaining both optimal central distance vision and on correcting RPHs. The 6-month appointment is required to update and adjust powers in order to maintain optimal correction of both for reduction of myopia. In addition, topography readings are used to monitor any changes.
Are there any age restrictions for myopia reduction with MFCLs?
No. The FDA has no restrictions on fitting and use of MFCLs. Since the effects of myopia increases are cumulative, earlier intervention in myopia reduction is recommended.
Most studies have been on children age 7-10 years old.
Since children will be expected to care for their lenses during the day and using proper solutions at nighttime, we generally do not fit children under the age of 7 or 8.