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.
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 http://www.iovs.org/content/53/2/640.
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 http://www.uh.edu/news-events/.
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 http://www.uh.edu/news-events/mailing-lists/sciencelistserv/index.php.
Lisa Merkl | EurekAlert!
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research