Contact lenses

Myopia management contact lenses are designed to firstly correct your child’s vision so they can see well and secondly to slow the process of eyeball growth, with the aim of reducing how short sighted they eventually become.

The aim of treatment is to slow the rate of decline by around 50%. Myopia management contact lenses cannot reduce your child’s prescription from the point at which they start with the contact lenses.

There are two contact lens options – either soft daily disposable multi focal contact lenses (MiSight) that are worn during the day or specially designed gas permeable night lenses, which are worn when asleep (also known as ortho-k lenses).

MiSight lenses have two powers in them and slow the progression of myopia in children by focusing light at the centre of the retina for good vision while creating defocus on the surrounding parts of the retina to slow the eye’s desire to grow.

Night lenses temporarily and reversibly reshape the cornea (front surface of
the eye) while you sleep. These contact lenses are taken out in the morning so that the wearer can have clear vision all day without having to wear spectacles or contact lenses and are great for people who swim or have an active lifestyle. These slow the progression of myopia in the same way as the soft contact lenses. Patients get used to them very quickly and their sleep is rarely affected by them.

Spectacle lenses

In early 2021, the first spectacle lens for myopia management became available in the UK. The Hoya MiyoSmart lens works very similarly to the contact lenses in giving clear vision through the centre of the lens and a variation in the power of the lens away from the centre to create defocus on the peripheral retina helping reduce the eye’s desire to grow.

 

Eye drops

Atropine is a prescription eye drop used to temporarily open the pupil and limit the ability to focus. If it is used at a very low concentration it does not cause any visual difficulties with focussing but has been found to slow the progression of myopia.

The results of a two year study suggest that these spectacles are as effective
as the contact lenses in slowing the progression of myopia. Although the initial vision through these spectacles will feel different to previous spectacles your child might have worn, this is expected to settle within two weeks.

It is thought to do this by interaction with some of the receptors in the eye that control eye growth. Atropine is not currently available for this use in the UK however a three-year trial started in 2019 which may lead the way to availability in the future.