Exploring the effects of multifocal contact lenses in hyperopes

UK researchers have examined the potential of contact lenses to accelerate axial growth in farsighted children

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New research has found that axial growth can be accelerated in hyperopes using centre-near multifocal soft contact lenses.

The study, which was published in Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, involved 22 hyperopic children between the ages of eight and 14.

All study participants wore single vision spectacles for the first and last six months of the three-year trial.

Those in the control group wore single vision spectacles for the trial duration, while those in the test group wore centre-near multifocal soft contact lenses with a 2.00 D add for two years.

Researchers found that axial growth did not change during the first six months in either group.

Axial growth during the two-year intervention period was close to three times greater in the test group than the control group (0.17mm versus 0.06mm).

The Aston University researchers concluded that rate of eye growth can be accelerated in children with hyperopia by imposing relative peripheral hyperopic defocus using multifocal contact lenses.

“Increasing the rate of eye growth in hyperopes using multifocal contact lenses offers a clinically accessible mechanism to reduce the lifelong impact of hyperopia,” they highlighted.

This has the potential to reduce the burden of refractive error during childhood and mitigate the risks of associated ocular comorbidities later in life, the authors added.