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November 1, 2014

Myopia progression slowed by bifocals

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Bifocal glasses may be effective in slowing the progression of myopia in children with high rates of progression, according to a new report.
The report followed a study in which doctors conducted a randomised, controlled clinical trial among 135 Chinese-Canadian children in one practice with progressing myopia.


Participating children were assigned to one of three treatment groups: 41 wore single-vision lenses, 48 wore bifocals and 46 wore bifocals with prism, which helps the eyes work together. Of the 135 children, 131 completed the 24-month study.
Progression of myopia was most rapid among those who wore single-focus lenses, slower among those who wore bifocals and slowest among those who wore prismatic bifocals.
Because the fundamental characteristics of myopia likely do not vary by ethnic group, the results would appear to apply to other children with rapidly progressing forms of the condition, the study’s authors noted.
“The proportion of myopic children in this practice with fast myopic progression, therefore qualifying for bifocal treatment, was estimated to be about 54 per cent,” the authors commented. “Therefore, the bifocal treatment could benefit a large number of myopic children.”
Archives of Ophthalmology 2010;128:12-19