So what do we know that can help? Anti-fatigue lenses have been shown to help in some cases. What this lens does, is creates a thinning of the bottom portion of the lens so that the distortions of a minus lens (the edge thickness is greater in a minus lens and studies have indicated that this distortion increases myopia) when looking downward is removed. It also creates a zone of “less minus power” which is beneficial when looking at near tasks. You see, many people will have distance glasses to correct their blur at distance. They then wear them all the time even though they can see fine at near without them. Within a year they need a stronger prescription, not necessarily due to “normal” progression of myopia, but due to the fact that the brain likes the nearsightedness to help with near work and putting on the distance glasses as messed that up. The brain adapts and puts the nearsightedness back in place.
This is where the whole concept of wearing the glasses makes your eyes worse. Well yes, wearing glasses for the wrong purpose may do that. The glasses were meant for distance, not near work. So, for those cases of myopia where this is the mechanism of action, the anti-fatigue lenses are amazing. We are fortunate now that we have anti-fatigue contact lenses as well. The amount of the anti-fatigue lens needs to be carefully measured. If it is too much or too little, it will not stabilize the myopia. Zeiss myovision lens is also a great lens to slow down myopia in this category.
What is another way to slow down the development of nearsightedness? Wearing contact lenses has shown to slow it down. Why? Still a discussion point. Some believe the feeling of the contact lens on the eye sends signals to the rest of the eye to slow down the axial elongation. Some feel that the minus lens distortions are eliminated and it opens up the peripheral vision. Some specific lenses, like ortho-k, are retainer hard contact lenses that you sleep in overnight which reshapes your cornea to eliminate myopia. These need to be worn nightly and are best for powers under -3.50. Long range studies indicate that this method doesn’t actually slow down the development of the myopia, however patients that use this method, love it as they are free of glasses or contact lenses throughout the day.