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—Myopia control for children.

These days, the majority of optometrists (more than 71%) are up to the challenge of treating myopia in younger patients. Twenty percent prescribe both spectacles and contact lenses for their patients depending on the needs and age of each individual child, while more than half (close to 54%) prescribe orthokeratology lenses when they’re appropriate. One of the most popular responses to a question about the top criteria for a good candidate for treatment was the maturity and motivation level of the child. “The patient has to be capable of taking care of the lenses, their insertion, their removal, their cleaning,” said one OD, adding, “It’s best if the patient can do it on their own and knows what to do if they get something in the lens while they’re in school or outside playing.” Says another optometrist, a great candidate is a young child whose parents “have a good understanding of the process and research” of their kid’s treatment when it’s explained to them. As for the preferred method of treatment and why, this is what those we surveyed had to say:

“Ortho-k, since the child benefits from not wearing contact lenses during the day and studies have shown the effect on axial length.”

“Bifocal spectacles. I do not like progressive addition lenses, as I think young people have too much trouble using the appropriate portion of the lenses at the appropriate time.”

“Flat-top bifocals.”

“Gas permeable contact lenses fit to make changes slowly as the youngster grows. For those who may not be a good candidate for contact lenses, I’ll use progressive addition lenses. I’ve found this to be an effective therapy for 40 years.”

“Nightwear contact lenses plus visual therapy and near-reading lenses.”

“It depends on the prescription: For low myopes, soft multifocal lenses. For higher myopes, ortho-k lenses.”

“Multifocal contacts or glasses because, to me, it most closely mimics our natural way of seeing.”

“Contact lenses. There’s less myopic shift in younger patients with this method.”

“GP contacts seem to either stop or slow the progression of myopia better than soft contacts.”

“CooperVision’s Biofinity multifocal contact lenses.”

“Ortho-k and soft bifocals because they’re proven to work and they don’t have significant side effects.”

“Early intervention with plus lenses and/or visual therapy.”

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