Bifocals for Kids? PART I by Benjamin Clingan, OD

Kid in eyeglasses It seems like a very foreign concept indeed. Bifocals are meant for “old people.” Why would a child need something meant for grandma or grandpa?

As we continue our discussion on myopia control, you may notice most of the treatments are already available but just used for other purposes. Glasses and contacts prescriptions for myopia are set for 20 feet. When we look at things closer than 20 feet (which is pretty much all the time), we are actually accommodating (using our internal lens to change focus) through our prescription. Basically, this creates a domino effect that makes us want more prescription, which when corrected makes us want more prescription, which etcetera, etcetera, you get the point (for a more in-depth discussion just go to PubMed).

When a bifocal is used, the power of the bifocal will cause the eyes to relax instead of accommodating. This has been shown to decrease the myopic shift. It does not mean the prescription will never change again, but it will change at a slower rate.

Some of our more experienced readers already know there are many kinds of bifocals. We will discuss those options on our next blog. If you think that you or your child may need to slow myopic progression, please call our office schedule an appointment.

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