Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Study offers hope for more effective treatment of nearsightedness

UH optometrist finds small reduction in progression of myopia promising

Research by an optometrist at the University of Houston (UH) supports the continued investigation of optical treatments that attempt to slow the progression of nearsightedness in children.

Conducted by UH College of Optometry assistant professor David Berntsen and his colleagues from The Ohio State University, the study compared the effects of wearing and then not wearing progressive addition lenses, better known as no-line bifocals, in children who are nearsighted. With funding by a National Institutes of Health National Eye Institute training grant and support from Essilor of America Inc. and the American Optometric Foundation Ezell Fellowship program, the study examined 85 children from 6-11 years old over the course of two years. The results were published in Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, one of the most widely read journals in the field.

Selected according to their eye alignment and accuracy of focusing on near objects, the myopic children were fitted with either normal single-vision lenses or no-line bifocals to correct their nearsightedness. In addition to observing and testing the children, the doctors obtained feedback from parents and guardians of both the children's outdoor activities and near-work tasks, such as reading and computer use.

... more about:
»College »Eye Tracking »Houston »Ohio »Optometry »Philosophy »UHCO

Previous research suggested that nearsighted children who do not focus accurately when reading books or doing other near work may benefit more from wearing no-line bifocal glasses than nearsighted children who focus more accurately. Berntsen's study found a small, yet statistically significant, slowing of myopia progression in children wearing the bifocals compared to those who simply wore single-vision lenses. Berntsen asserts, however, that the results do not suggest that children be fitted with no-line bifocal lenses solely for the purpose of slowing the progression of myopia.

"While the small effect found in the group of children wearing bifocal spectacles does not warrant a change in clinical practice, we found the beneficial effect was still present for at least one year after children stopped wearing no-line bifocal lenses," Berntsen said. "This is promising if other optical lens designs can be developed that do an even better job of slowing how fast myopia increases in children."

By understanding why different types of lenses result in the slowing of myopia progression, Berntsen says researchers will be better able to design lenses that may be more effective in slowing the increase of nearsightedness in children.

"Single-vision lenses are normally prescribed when a child gets a pair of glasses, but glasses with progressive addition lenses were shown to slightly reduce myopic progression in our study," Berntsen said. "For any treatment that reduces myopia progression in children to be useful, the effect of the spectacles or contact lenses must persist after children stop wearing them. The fact that the small treatment effect from our study was still present one year after discontinuing the treatment is promising. The results suggest that if newer optical designs currently being investigated do a better job of slowing myopia progression, the effects may be expected to persist and decrease how nearsighted the child ultimately becomes."

An important goal of this study, in particular, was to help them improve their understanding of the mechanism behind myopia progression in children and why no-line bifocals cause this small reduction in its progression. Berntsen says the study results and evidence from other studies suggest that lenses specifically designed to change blur in the eye's peripheral vision may be able to slow the increase of nearsightedness.

"There is support for continuing to investigate new lenses specially designed to change the blur profile on the back of the eye in order to reduce the increase of myopia in children," Berntsen said. "There is still further research to be done, but our work is an important step in discovering the methods needed to slow the progression of nearsightedness."

Berntsen's collaborators from Ohio State's College of Optometry were Loraine T. Sinnott, Donald O. Mutti and Karla Zadnik. The study, titled "A randomized trial using progressive addition lenses to evaluate theories of myopia progression in children with a high lag of accommodation," is available at

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the nation's best colleges for undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city, UH serves more than 39,500 students in the most ethnically and culturally diverse region in the country. For more information about UH, visit

About the UH College of Optometry

Since 1952, the University of Houston College of Optometry (UHCO) has educated and trained optometrists to provide the highest quality vision care. One of only 20 optometry schools in the country, UHCO offers a variety of degree programs, including Doctor of Optometry (O.D.), a combined Doctor of Optometry/Doctor of Philosophy (O.D./Ph.D.), Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). UHCO serves an average of 36,000 patients a year through The University Eye Institute and its satellite clinics.

To receive UH science news via e-mail, sign up for UH-SciNews at

Lisa Merkl | EurekAlert!
Further information:

Further reports about: College Eye Tracking Houston Ohio Optometry Philosophy UHCO

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>