New glasses that slow the progression of short-sightedness or myopia are now available. The glasses which incorporate a novel lens design could potentially benefit some of the 3.6 million Australians with myopia and hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
Until now, correcting myopia has relied on measuring the clarity of vision at the very centre of the retina. Corrective lenses were designed to provide the wearer with clear central vision but did nothing for peripheral vision. Studies have now shown that short-sightedness progressively worsens in spite of correction using these traditional lenses.
Based on these findings, new spectacle and contact lenses were created that provide a clearer peripheral image while maintaining the clarity of central vision. The work is part of an international project to improve the management of myopia which was coordinated by the Vision Cooperative Research Centre (Vision CRC) with partners in the US, UK, China and India.
Clinical trials in China showed that the new lenses slow the progression of myopia in young children whose parents are also myopic, says A/Prof Padmaja Sankaridurg, myopia program leader at the CRC. The new lens design has been licensed to Carl Zeiss Vision and is now available commercially in Asia.
Australians are likely to benefit from the lifestyle and eye-health benefits that arise from improved ophthalmic products such as these, Vision CRC CEO, Prof Brien Holden says. “Less myopia and less severe myopia would also reduce the risk of serious eye diseases such as retinal detachment, glaucoma and cataracts.”
Photo: New corrective lenses slow the progression of short-sightedness.
Credit: Jani Bryson
Vision CRC, University of New South Wales, Brien Holden, Tel: +61 2 9385 7516, www.visioncrc.org