Soft Multifocal Contacts For Myopia Management In Blacksburg, Virginia
Myopia, also referred to as nearsightedness or short-sightedness, causes the eye to elongate from early childhood into the late teens. This elongation of the eye causes visual input (what your child sees) to focus at the front of the retina rather than on the retina proper. This is what causes poor distance vision and requires a renewed prescription at least once every year.
Regular glasses or contact lenses adjust for poor focus, but do nothing to address the elongation of the eye itself and don’t slow its progression.
What many people don’t realize is that myopia is dangerous. The more aggressive the progression, the more likely your child is to develop life-changing vision problems later in life. This includes retinal detachment and macular degeneration—a leading cause of blindness. At The Myopia Management Center At Blacksburg Eye Associates we use multifocal contact lenses as part of our toolkit for myopia management, which will slow or even stop the progression of your child’s myopia.
The use of soft multifocal contacts for myopia are a popular and effective technique for myopia management, backed by extensive research and prescribed across the globe by optometrists for children as young as 8.
What Are Soft Multifocal Contact Lenses?
Soft multifocal contact lenses are contact lenses featuring multiple prescriptions in a single lens. The lens will feature a prescription for very close objects, objects at intermediate distances, and objects at a distance.
The soft multifocal contact lenses are made of breathable flexible plastics which allow air to pass through the lens to the cornea for a healthy fit. The soft nature of the contact lenses makes them more comfortable to wear.
How Exactly Do Soft Multifocal Contact Lenses Help With Myopia Management?
These contact lenses are worn during the day —just like regular contact lenses— and in addition to adjusting for myopic distance vision, precise adjustments to your child’s near and intermediate vision are made as well. These finely tuned changes force your child’s eyes to adjust the way they focus. This corrects the Relative Peripheral Hyperopia (RPH) thereby preventing the eye from continuing the axial elongation responsible for your child’s myopia. This results in the slowing or stopping of myopia, meaning that your child’s prescription will no longer rapidly deteriorate.
In short, soft multifocal lenses are used to stop the elongation responsible for the myopia. This not only corrects your child’s vision, but also slows down or stops the prescription from getting worse, protecting your child’s eyes for a long life of healthy vision.
Contact lenses are safe for kids. Any child responsible enough to practice good contact lens hygiene can wear soft multifocal contact lenses.
Our Blacksburg myopia management staff will ascertain whether multifocal contact lenses are the right choice for controlling your child’s myopia. And if so, we also offer daily disposable multifocal contact lenses to help your child adjust to contact lenses in a convenient and low maintenance way.
No. Once myopia sets in, it cannot be reversed. However, the progression of myopia can and should be effectively managed. Slowing or stopping the ongoing elongation of the eye is key to slowing down how quickly your child’s eyes get worse. Myopia management is essential for mitigating the serious long-term risks to your child’s vision.
All levels of myopia are dangerous to a child’s long-term vision. Children that have medium or high myopia (-6 or worse) are at an even greater risk of eye disease later in life. Because myopia is irreversible, it is crucial to begin managing myopia at the first signs of nearsightedness to keep the prescription light and the risks as low as possible.
Yes. Even children with astigmatism worse than -1.00 can successfully use soft multifocal contacts for myopia management.
Every child has a unique pair of eyes. Most children with myopia will benefit from multifocal contacts, but not all. The most successful form of myopia management has been through the use of orthokeratology (Ortho-K). Though multifocal contact lenses slow the progression at a decent pace, they are most useful in children with a less severe progression. That said, the main benefit of using multifocal contact lenses over Ortho-K is affordability.
Just like any contact lens, your child’s contacts should be cared for properly. This includes doing the following:
- Clean, rinse, and disinfect the lenses regularly
- Store overnight in clean lens cases
- Clean occasionally with the enzymatic cleaner to remove protein
If your child is prescribed daily disposable soft contacts for myopia management, the only care instructions are to make sure to remove the contact lens at night and throw them away.
There are no additional risks beyond those associated with using any contact lens on a daily basis. Proper cleaning and hygiene is important, and the wearer should not go to sleep while wearing these contacts.
Typically, these should be worn during the day while your child is awake and active. Dr. Colleen Mitchell and Dr. Adrianna Hempelmann will assess and discuss the best wearing regimen for your child. Generally, soft multifocal contacts are to be worn for a maximum of 10 to 12 hours a day.
Prolonged use of any contact lens can make your eyes feel uncomfortable or red, and increase the risk of contracting infections or chronic dry eyes. However, recent advances in disposable contact lenses using breathable materials have significantly reduced the already minor risks and comfort issues associated with wearing contact lenses.
Dr. Colleen Mitchell and Dr. Adrianna Hempelmann will assess the extent of your child’s myopia including baseline distance and near visual acuities including axial length and refractive error. After this assessment, Dr. Colleen Mitchell and Dr. Adrianna Hempelmann will recommend the best myopia management treatment options. During this process, patients and parents are encouraged to ask any questions they may have.
Should you choose to proceed with soft multifocal contact lenses, Dr. Colleen Mitchell and Dr. Adrianna Hempelmann will ascertain the exact prescription adjustments required and carefully fit the contact lenses to ensure that they sit correctly and comfortably. Your child will immediately be able to see normally. Over time, the myopia progression will be slowed or even stopped altogether, drastically reducing the long-term risks to your child’s vision.
Contact Our Eye Clinic Today!
Is your child nearsighted? Is his or her prescription rapidly deteriorating? Call us or book an appointment to discuss myopia management options with Dr. Colleen Mitchell and Dr. Adrianna Hempelmann in order to protect your child’s long-term vision. The Myopia Management Center At Blacksburg Eye Associates provides effective myopia management for patients in Blacksburg and the entire Virginia area.
What Are The Social Benefits of Myopia Control For Children?
Myopia usually develops between ages 8 and 16. The earlier the myopia management process begins, the more effective it is in ensuring the prescription remain relatively mild. This way, your child will not need ongoing lens adjustments due to the ever-increasing prescription. Unchecked, myopia can progress until there is no other option but to wear very thick glasses, resulting in a high risk for life-changing vision problems in old age.
Regardless of your child’s current prescription, children often prefer wearing contacts over wearing eyeglasses, as the contact lenses are more convenient for sports or simply running around with friends.
According To Clinical Studies On Contact Lens Use In Children:
- 80% of parents agreed that contact lenses made their children feel more confident.
- 30% of parents feel their children are restricted during sports when wearing glasses, while 86% of kids say that they feel better about participating in sports when wearing contact lenses.
- 92% of parents and 93% of children say they like wearing contact lenses—compared to only 58% of children that report that they like wearing glasses.
- Contact lenses prevent eye injuries that occur from sports when wearing eye glasses.
- Since contacts are fitted directly on the eye, they provide better vision during sports and a wider range of viewing than glasses.
- Most contacts used for myopia management come with UV protection which protects your child’s eyes from long-term damage.
- Because the progression of myopia is reduced, the rate of changing prescription is also reduced, leaving your child with better day to day vision in the classroom and better school performance.
Patient Experiences / Parents Testimonials
"The doctor recommended a contact lens for my 8-year-old son. His vision has significantly improved. His prescription has not gotten any worse and has remained the same now for almost 2 years. My entire family will continue using their eye care services." - Carly M.
"I used to have to get my child new glasses every 4 months! We couldn’t keep up and it was affecting her ability to function at school. She has been coming to The Myopia Management Center At Blacksburg Eye Associates now for three years and was fitted with multifocal contacts. Her prescription has barely changed and she feels confident and comfortable at school without her glasses." -Matt S.