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Night time contact lenses stop the progression of nearsightedness

Pediatric Optometry in Houston

Children could be cured of short-sightedness by wearing soft contact lenses at night which re-shape their eyes to prevent them ever needing glasses, a study has shown.

Trials involving more than 300 children across the world showed that the lenses can stop the eye becoming misshapen which leads to myopia.

In April, a study published by Ulster University found that the rate of short-sightedness has doubled over the past 50 years, because children no longer spend enough time outdoors.

Twenty-three per cent of kids 12 and 13-year-olds now suffer from myopia which causes distant objects to appear blurred, while close objects can be seen clearly - compared to 10 per cent in the 1960s.

However a new study has found that contact lenses can stop the progression of myopia, a practice known as Orthokeratology.

The lenses, which are removed each morning, control the shape of the eye so that it grows in the correct manner so that glasses are never needed.

None of the children within the study suffered further change in their vision during the three year trial period although all of the control groups rapidly deteriorated.

"Parents who are worried about myopic progression in their children now have a viable option,” said Professor Pauline Chom, of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, which carried out one of the trials.

“Orthokeratology has been shown to effectively slow the progression of myopia in children."

The onset of short-sightedness generally occurs in childhood and about one in three adults has the condition, which means distant objects are out of focus.

In addition to requiring corrective lenses to see clearly, people with myopia are at higher risk for retinal detachment and glaucoma.

In people with normal vision, the eyeball grows along with the rest of the body and is programmed to stop growing at a point that sustains clear vision.

The eyes were monitored to check that they were not changing shape
In people with myopia, the typically spherical eyeball becomes elongated, resembling the shape of a grape or an olive.

Children who will grow up with normal vision are actually slightly far-sighted when they are aged six, so the potential for future myopia can be detected at a young age via a refractive error measure that reveals little to no far-sightedness.

Source: The Telegraph


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