In Chinese societies, primary and secondary schoolchildren perform large amounts of reading and homework and thus spend long periods performing near work during their growth years. Progressive lenses, which can permit a focused retinal image at distance, intermediate, and near, without accommodation, may slow the development of myopia. This paper reports results of a 2-year longitudinal study to examine the effects of progressive lenses on myopia progression in myopic Chinese children; these children were aged between 9 and 12 years at the beginning of the study.
Prestudy vision screening tests and five examinations, which included noncycloplegic refraction, were conducted at half-yearly intervals. Of those who completed the study, 32 children wore single vision (SV) lenses (the SV group) and 36 wore progressive lenses; of the latter, 22 wore a +1.50 D addition (the P1 group) and 14 wore a +2.00 D addition (the P2 group). Refractive error, corneal curvature, axial length, vitreous depth, and intraocular pressure were measured at every examination. Height was measured as an index of general growth.
Progressive lenses significantly retarded the progression of the myopia in these children. Initially, the mean refractive error of the SV group was —3.67 D, of the P1 group was —3.73 D, and of the P2 group was —3.67 D. The mean myopic progressions over the 2 years of the study were —1.23, —0.76, and —0.66 D for the SV, P1, and P2 groups, respectively.
Progressive lenses reduce the progression of myopia. It may be that the interaction of the progressive lenses with the accommodation system is the cause of this reduction in myopia progression because the +2.00 D addition appeared more effective than the +1.50 D addition in slowing the progression. (Optom Vis Sci 1999;76:346-354)