Myopia-control contact lenses and spectacles
Topic Status Complete
Myopia-control contact lenses and spectacles to slow the progression of myopia in children and adolescents.
Outcome of the appraisal
The evidence supports the routine adoption of orthokeratology and multifocal soft contact lenses to slow the progression of myopia in children and adolescents.
Evidence shows that orthokeratology and multifocal soft contact lenses significantly reduce spherical equivalent refraction progression and axial length elongation over at least two years of follow up.
Economic modelling estimates that orthokeratology and multifocal soft contact lenses may be cost effective compared with single-vision correction, driven by the assumption of quality-of-life gains from a reduction in long-term myopia progression and its complications.
Why was this topic appraised?
Myopia is the most common eye condition worldwide and its prevalence is increasing. If left untreated, myopia can progress to high myopia, which increases the risk of irreversible visual impairment and blindness. Standard care in Wales is single-vision spectacle lenses or contact lenses, which may correct myopia but do not slow its progression. It is proposed that if myopia-control spectacle lenses and contact lenses reduce the progression of myopia, this could lead to a reduction in the long-term complications of high myopia, but they are currently only available at some private clinics in Wales, creating inequity of access.
This topic was submitted to HTW by a clinical advisor to the NHS.
Plain language summary
Myopia, also known as short-sightedness, is a vision condition in which people can see close objects clearly, but objects further away appear blurred. Short-sightedness happens because certain parts of the eye are too powerful or the eyeball is longer than normal. It is not clear why short-sightedness happens, but it can run in families. Short-sightedness usually starts in children from ages six years old and can continue to get worse until a person is in their twenties. The blurred vision caused by short-sightedness may mean that a person’s abilities to read and write are affected. In addition, short-sightedness may increase the risk of conditions that threaten sight in later life.
Currently, in Wales, children with short-sightedness are prescribed single-vision spectacles or contact lenses to correct their vision. However, these spectacles and contact lenses are not designed to slow the progression of short-sightedness. Special types of spectacles and contact lenses can slow the growth of the eye, thereby slowing down the progression of short-sightedness. These are called myopia-control spectacles and contact lenses, and they are usually more expensive than single-vision spectacles and contact lenses.
Health Technology Wales looked for evidence on the clinical and cost effectiveness of myopia-control spectacles and contact lenses to slow the progression of short-sightedness in children and adolescents. The evidence supports the routine adoption of two types of lenses, orthokeratology and multifocal soft contact lenses, to slow the progression of short-sightedness in children and adolescents.
Topic Exploration Report
Evidence Appraisal Review