A recent study has found that young myopic (shortsighted) contact lens wearers who were fitted with a specific type of multifocal contact lenses progressed at a slower rate than age matched peers. Although it was a small study, the results were still found to be statistically significant, meaning that there is very little likelihood that the results were different by chance alone. They found that the shortsight developed at half the rate of the control group.
This is a very interesting finding – 50% is quite a lot! at last there may be a way to slow down those children who seem to get worse, more shortsighted, at every visit.
Researchers believe that by making the peripheral vision slightly blurred using bifocal contact lenses (initially designer to help older people read with their lenses), the eye somehow knows to stop growing. This peripheral blurring will not affect the wearer’s vision significantly- peripheral vision is really only useful for movement detection.
Another study from a couple of years ago, in Australia used a lens design which was later licenced to CibaVision. Though Ciba have not yet released a contact lens specifically aimed at myopia control, there is mounting evidence that it can be effective at slowing those patients who seem to be constantly slipping.