Children who wear rigid gas-permeable contact lenses (RGPs) had slower progression of their myopia (nearsightedness) than patients who wear soft contact lenses (SCLs), according to an article in the December issue of The Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
According to the article, “myopia affects approximately 25 percent of the U.S. population, and it typically develops between eight and 16 years of age.” Previous studies have reported that rigid contact lenses may slow myopia progression, but other studies have found that rigid contact lenses have no effect on myopia progression in children, the article states.
Jeffrey J. Walline, O.D., Ph.D., of The Ohio State University College of Optometry, Columbus, and colleagues randomly assigned 116 children (aged eight to 11 years old) to wear RGPs or SCLs as part of the Contact Lens and Myopia Progression (CLAMP) Study. Vision tests were administered at the beginning of the study, and at three years after randomization. All participants had 20/20 vision (with correction) at the beginning of the study and low to moderate myopia.
The researchers found that compared to children who wore SCLs, the children who wore RGPs had a slower progression of myopia. “Although results from the CLAMP Study indicate that RGPs significantly slow the progression of myopia in children, the slowed change in refractive error may not be overwhelming from the clinical perspective,” the authors write.
“The results of the study provide information for eye care practitioners to share with the patients, but they do not indicate that RGPs should be prescribed primarily for myopia control,” they conclude.