WEDNESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Bifocal lenses can slow myopic progression in children with high rates of the condition, according to a study in the January issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.
Noting that the prevalence of myopia can be as high as 60 percent in Asian children, Desmond Cheng, O.D., from Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and colleagues randomly assigned 131 myopic Chinese Canadian children with myopic progression (at least 0.50 diopters [D] in the preceding year) to single-vision lenses, +1.50 D executive bifocals, or +1.50 D executive bifocals with a 3-prism diopters base-in prism in the near segment of each lens.
After 24 months, the researchers found that myopic progression averaged −1.55 D with single-vision lenses, but only −0.96 D with bifocals and −0.70 D with prismatic bifocals. Axial length increased an average of 0.62 mm with single-vision lenses, but only 0.41 mm with bifocals and prismatic bifocals. The improvement in myopic progression and axial length with both types of bifocals was significant, according to the study.
"Bifocal spectacles may be considered for slowing myopic progression in children with an annual progression rate of at least 0.50 D," the authors conclude.