Hopefully, you have read Dr. Aamena Kazmi’s blog about orthokeratology and how it works to slow down myopia progression. If not, you should definitely check it out. This blog is all about how we use BIFOCAL soft contact lenses to manage myopia. That’s right, you didn’t misread it…I said BIFOCALs. This is the exact same lens option that patients over 40 use to help them read when their arms just aren’t quite long enough anymore. Seriously though, these lenses were originally designed for patient’s who are unable to focus at near either due to age or other binocular vision conditions.
Over time, researchers found that a specifically designed bifocal contact lens is effective in controlling myopia. Soft bifocals are manufactured in two different ways: the reading power in the center or the reading power in the periphery. In order to achieve myopia control, the design with the reading power in the center is the way to go! Because of this unique power differential from center to periphery (see the image below), the lens essentially tricks the brain into thinking it is already myopic enough. This prevents any further worsening of the patient’s prescription.
The soft bifocal is a great alternative to the overnight lens especially for children who cannot adapt to hard lenses (the ortho-k mold) or for children who would prefer a daytime contact lens option. An exciting new improvement to the soft bifocal is that there is now a daily disposable option! Up until just recently, our only options for soft bifocals were monthly or quarterly designs. The daily disposable is ideal for children and new contact lens wearers because they are both convenient and hygienic.
Bottom-line, with so many contact lens options, there is certainly one that will be appropriate for any patient interested in controlling their myopia…and we’re ready to help you!
-Ashley Tucker, OD, FAAO, FSLS, Diplomate ABO