A newly released study involving 8- to 11-year old children showed that the progression of nearsightedness can be slowed by up to 50%. These children were followed for two years and compared to a group of children of the same age. The group wearing center-distance design lenses showed a slower increase in their nearsightedness over a 2-year period than the other group who was wearing standard single vision lenses. The rate of increase in the group that was wearing the standard single vision lenses was 1.00 diopter. The rate of increase in the group that was wearing the center-distance design lenses was only 0.50 diopters. A diopter is the unit of measure used to track changes in prescription. There are other methods of slowing the rate of nearsightedness. The one investigated in this study has been shown to also be effective.
Nearsightedness occurs when the front of the eye – the cornea and lens – can not focus the object that you are looking at onto the retina (see diagram above). As the eyeball lengthens, the prescription increases. As the eyeball lengthens, the risk of holes, tears and other eye diseases increases as well.
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Walline JJ, Greiner KL, et al. Multifocal contact lens myopia control. Optometry and Vision Science. 2013;90(11):1207-14.