Progressive Lenses for Myopia Control & Alternative Lenses


When we talk about progressive lenses for myopia control there are a few things to consider. In this article, you will learn about the important parameters to tweak and when to consider alternatives.

First of all, I will describe a few products here that maybe not available in your country. There are a few options and as myopia will get bigger over time we will definitely see more products for myopia control. Progressive lenses are one óf the lesser effective ways to control myopia. But they work better compared to the traditional single vision alternatives. And as some kids love their glasses I am here to support the wishes and slow down their myopia progression.

As you think about kids and glasses we have a wide range of differences to cope with the body heights in kids and teenagers. When they have their eyeexam at six years old they should have hyperopia left of +0,50D. If they have no hyperopia left they are at a higher risk of developing myopia. When you start the progression earlier it just benefits the child in the long run. But at the age of six years old body and head positions differ from adults. And usually, normal progressive lenses are made for adults.

So we need to make sure that the child is looking through the zone that supports his eyes in the near range while he reads or paints. Three things come here into play. First, the pupilar distance is a lot smaller when you design progressive lenses for a child with myopia care in mind. Second, children do not look down as much as adults due to their smaller body size. Third, they have a shorter working distance as they look in the near range.

The image shows a boy with glasses. Near to him on the left there are glasses with the instructions on how to design a progressive lens for myopia care

Myopia control with progressive lenses can just work if the reading zone sits high enough. Therefore we need a really short progression corridor. In most cases when we speak about to slow down the progression we have ADD values of around +2,00D to see an effect. At this level of reading power, the usable fields get pretty small, especially in a short lens design. That is why it is so important to get the progression corridor customized to the individual pupilar distance and the reading distance of the child.

Kids figure it out pretty quick how to see with progressive lenses clearly. And the more the progressives are customized to the needs of the child the better they work. However, with progressive lenses for myopia control come drawbacks. As I said before the ADD value is usually higher at around +2,00D. At this level distortions of the lenses will be noticeable for the kid. Especially when it is on his way on a jungle gym. Straight lines can appear bent as much the kid benefits from his progressives to slow down his myopia we do not want to restrict him in his movements.

This is when you should think about contacts as an alternative for the playground.

Just a side note drom me.

The benefits of progressive lenses for myopia control are:

  • no halo effects (as with contacts)
  • no increased light sensitivity (as with atropin)
  • no visible line (as with executive lenses)

Now let us talk about the limits of progressive lenses for myopia control. A lot of children have binocular issues too. In those cases, it might be a good idea to get them different prismatic powers for the distance and near vision. With progressive lenses that are simply not possible. With the good old franklin design, we can get those special powers into one pair of glasses.

Of course, this will produce a visible line in the whole lens. But for now, those lenses have the most effective control effect you can get with spectacles. The manufacturer Essilor, for example, has three options if you think about myopia care. It is Myopilux lite, Myopilux Plus, and Myopilux Max. The lite version is a progressive lens for myopia control that has a standard set of parameters like the pupilar distance and the working distance. As I mentioned before we deal with a wide range of parameter changes here. Because myopia control can be relevant from an early age as 6 to the mid-20s.

In this video, you get some information about the effects of myopia in general and how the lenses work from Essilor. Furthermore, there are a few guidelines in the video what you can do to take care of the eyes of your child.

That is why I would highly recommend getting customized progressive lenses that fit the kid’s hight, pupilar distance, and working distance today. This leads to a faster adaptation and less stress for the kid. (Myopes with a larger near lag of accommodation in combination with near esophoria benefited more from Progressive Addition Lenses)The way with the progressives and franklin lenses is the more traditional way of lens designs. But how about the alternative concepts?

The Alternatives to Progressive Lenses in Myopia Care

Other manufacturers provide different solutions. Zeiss, for example, has its MyoKids lenses. They have a totally clear center in each lens but they add a changed periphery to the lens design to slow down myopia. Of course, the vision is blurry when the child performs extreme eye movements to the side but it is not as restricted as with normal progressives. Like when you lean back to watch TV I might even get blurry with normal progressives. With these lenses, this is not the case.

This video will explain how the Zeiss lenses work.

The advantages are less restrictive eye movements. But still in the jungle gym or when a ball comes flying at your kid from the periphery he would be better off with contacts in a sporty environment. The Zeiss lenses are pretty new on the market and so has Hoya also their solution for myopia care.

It is the Myosmart lens design. These lenses are also designed with a clear center for distance vision as the Zeiss lenses are. But instead of changing the whole surface of the periphery as the Zeiss lenses do they just put over 400 segments around the clear center zone. The interesting thing is that they are able to curb myopia progression up to 60% percent and stopped progression in 21,5% of the kids while providing minimal blur effects in the periphery. Each segment has an Add value of 3,5D which is stronger compared to the franklin and progressive lenses but with minimal distortion.

Conclusions Around Progressive Lenses & Alternatives for Myopia Control

I hope I made clear that the visual needs of a myopic child can be very different from another myopic child. With myopia progression there is no one size fits all types of lenses. I highly recommend getting the binocular status checked of the eyes of your child. This is not a five-minute eye test. It just takes time to evaluate the status of binocular vision.

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