Night-time contact lenses can prevent myopia in kids
London: Wearing soft contact lenses at night which re-shape the eyes could prevent children from becoming short-sighted, scientists have found.
In trials involving more than 300 children in Britain and across the world, researchers found that the lenses can stop the eye becoming misshapen which leads to myopia.
In the practice known as orthokeratology the lenses are worn at night and removed each morning. The lenses control the shape of the eye to ensure 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 vision in all of the control groups rapidly deteriorated, ‘The Telegraph’ reported.
“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,” Chom said.
The iGo OVC contact lenses are available at opticians in the UK from the age of seven.
“We have whole families using lenses with some children starting to wear the overnight lenses from as young as 6 years old and who are now aged 13 without experiencing any increase in their prescription,” said Jennifer Golden, Co-Founder and Director at iGO Optical who market the lenses in the UK.
Gordon Ilett, a representative from the Association of Optometrists, and a specialist in children’s eyesight, called for more testing of the lenses.
“It is emerging technology and there is lots of anecdotal evidence about how brilliant it is, but really we need large population studies to prove efficacy,” he said.