The long-awaited BLINK study results are out, and the data adds more weight to the growing body of evidence that soft multifocal contact lenses are viable treatment options for children with myopia.

The study included 294 children between the ages of seven and 11 with −0.75D to −5.00D of myopia and less than 1.00D of astigmatism. The researchers, led by optometrist Jeffrey J. Walline, OD, PhD, of the Ohio State University College of Optometry, randomized patients to wear high add power, medium add power or single-vision contact lenses. The patients wore their lenses for a mean of 11.0 hours per day. At three years, they evaluated the change in cycloplegic spherical equivalent autorefraction and other secondary end points such as eye growth.

The study found the adjusted myopia progression after three years of treatment was -0.60D for those wearing high add power lenses, -0.89D for patients wearing medium add power and -1.05D for single-vision contact lens wearers. The researchers also noted the difference in progression was 0.46D for high add power compared with single vision, 0.30D for high add compared with medium add power and 0.16D for medium add power compared with single vision. The researchers add that longer wearing times did not seem to improve the +2.50D add power effects.

As for eye growth, patients wearing high add power lenses experienced the least growth, a mean of 0.42mm compared with those wearing medium add power (0.58mm) and single-vision lenses (0.66mm).

“Among children with myopia, treatment with high add power multifocal contact lenses significantly reduced the rate of myopia progression over three years compared with medium add power multifocal and single-vision contact lenses,” the researchers concluded in their paper.

Walline JJ, Walker MK, Mutti DO, et al. Effect of high add power, medium add power, or single-vision contact lenses on myopia progression in children: The BLINK randomized clinical trial. JAMA. August 11, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].