The possible effect of undercorrection on myopic progression in children


Professor Michel Millodot
School of Optometry and Vision Sciences
Cardiff University
Cardiff CF10 3NB


Background:  Undercorrection has recently been found to enhance the rate of progression of myopia. This result was thought to be controversial as it contrasted with expectations based on animal studies, as well as the results found wearing progressive addition lenses. The aim of the present study was to again determine the effect of undercorrection on the progression of myopia in a random population of children who are known to be very susceptible to myopia.

Methods:  A cohort of 48 myopic children, aged six to15 years was randomly assigned to either a fully corrected group (n = 23) or to an undercorrected group (n = 25). The subjects in the latter group were blurred by +0.50 D. The prospective study extended over a period of 18 months. Optometric examinations were carried out at the beginning of the study, then at six-month, 12-month and 18-month follow-up.

Results:  Undercorrection produced a slight but not statistically significant increase in myopic progression over the 18-month period equal to 0.17 D, compared to full correction. A similar trend towards an increase in progression was noted in females and in children with near esophoria.

Conclusion:  This study supports the evidence that undercorrection does not represent an effective therapy to slow the rate of early-onset myopic progression, regardless of near heterophoria.