QUT LogoParents of children suffering from myopia may find this news to be quite informative. A study claims that bifocal glasses may be effectual in decelerating the development of myopia in children with elevated rates of progression.

Myopia is believed to be a general issue amid children in several regions of the world. It is seen that the occurrence is claimed to be as high as 50 percent to 60 percent by age 12 in East Asian countries. This was mentioned as per background information. The incidence is also thought to be more among Asian children in Western countries. Bifocals, glasses with two dissimilar corrective powers and multifocals have supposedly been examined as treatments for myopia in children with comparatively unsuccessful outcomes.

Desmond Cheng, O.D., M.Sc., then of the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbaine, Australia, and now of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, and colleagues performed an indiscriminate controlled clinical trial and included around 135 Chinese Canadian children whose average age was 10.3 years in one practice with advancing myopia. Volunteering children seemed to be allocated to one of three treatment groups. It was observed that around 41 wore single-vision lenses, 48 wore bifocals and 46 wore bifocals with prism, which seems to aid the eyes to function jointly.

Out of the 135 children, approximately 131 finished the one month study. Development of myopia seemed to be the fastest among those who wore single-focus lenses, decelerating among those who wore bifocals and slowest among those with prismatic bifocals. Since the basic traits of myopia may not fluctuate by racial group, the outcomes could be relevant to other children with swiftly progressing types of the condition.

The authors commented, “The proportion of myopic children in this practice with fast myopic progression, therefore qualifying for bifocal treatment, was estimated to be about 54 percent. Therefore, the bifocal treatment could benefit a large number of myopic children.”

The authors added, “To date, there has been no consensus on what magnitude of myopic reduction constitutes a clinically significant control effect. In our opinion, the treatment effect of bifocal and prismatic bifocal lenses of 38 percent and 55 percent, respectively, in this study, though greater than those of others, is still modest. Whether or not the effect tapers off will decide clinical significance.”

The authors mentioned that if the treatment effects continued over time, then the treatment could have a significant role in preventing the development of very high pathologic myopia. As a result, long-term studies are required.

The study was published in the Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.