By Jacqui Mayhew
Glasses for children which have been specially designed to slow the rate at which short-sightedness - known as myopia - develops during adolescence have been awarded an ‘Excellence In Innovation' award by the Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Association. The glasses have been designed by the Vision Cooperative Research Centre in Sydney, Australia led by Professor Brien Holden and use the ‘Myovision' spectacle lens developed jointly with Carl Zeiss Vision. They are the first design of spectacles to demonstrate an ability to slow the rate of myopia progression. Professor Holden said: "The Vision CRC is greatly honoured to receive this type of recognition from the CRC Association."
These special glasses for children demonstrated an ability to slow the rate of progression of myopia by 30 per cent in children (aged 6-12) who had a history of parental myopia. The delay of myopia progression, if sustained over a number of years, meant that a child who would normally have a prescription of -6.00D by the time he or she reached the age of 18, would now only have a prescription of -4.00D. Interestingly, this innovation comes at a time when ortho-k corrective contact lenses worn only while sleeping have also been shown in various research programmes to slow down the rate at which adolescent myopia develops.
A discovery about why myopia progresses was critical to the development of the lens technology which underpins the Myovision glasses for children . As Professor Holden explains: "Professor Earl Smith from the University of Houston College of Optometry, a participant in the Myopia Program, has demonstrated that if we move the central image onto the retina but leave the peripheral image behind the retina, the peripheral image can drive the eye to elongate, causing myopia to increase. The beauty of this new technology is that it addresses this problem by bringing the peripheral image forward, onto or even in front of the retina, and at the same time independently positioning the central image on the retina giving clear vision."
Check if your child is suitable for overnight ortho-k corrective contact lenses .