The soft contact lens manufacturer CooperVision just released data from a long-term study analyzing the effects of the company's new contacts on myopia. The results of this study suggest that CooperVision's contacts can effectively halt the progression of nearsightedness in younger patients.
These revolutionary contact lenses are called MiSight. All of the contacts in MiSight 30-day packages are dual-focus daily disposable lenses.
Developers at CooperVision designed these lenses to reverse the symptoms of juvenile-onset myopia. They were able to do this by using the company's ActivControl Technology to create special treatment zones in the soft contacts.
This CooperVision study analyzed how much these lenses changed the eyes of 144 children with myopia. The study was completely randomized and used multiple eye centers in different countries. Some of the kids and teens in the study wore MiSight contacts, whereas others wore normal daily disposable lenses. Children participating in CooperVision's study came from countries such as England, Portugal, and Singapore.
Researchers compared the eye health of children using the MiSight contacts against those wearing normal single vision contacts. They found that those wearing MiSight contacts slowed their nearsightedness by 59 percent more than the control group when measured by the mean cycloplegic spherical equivalent. Also, those wearing CooperVision's new contacts were able to reduce myopia by 52 percent more than those wearing normal contacts using the mean axial elongation of the eye.
Arthur Back, CooperVision's chief technology officer, told reporters he was extremely satisfied with the study's results. Since myopia is expected to increase dramatically in the youth population around the world, Back believes it's critically important for new technologies to be developed to combat this growing epidemic.
Nearsightedness has been correlated with a lack of self-esteem in young people. Also, having myopia early in life increases one's predilection for developing serious diseases later on like cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachment.
Back and other scientists are hopeful that CooperVision's contacts will be able to help millions of children eliminate the symptoms of myopia from their lives. He also said that early intervention with parents and eye doctors is critical for long-term eye health. It's important for children nowadays to go get their eyes checked as often as possible.
Doctors aren't quite sure what exactly is causing the rapid rise in myopia levels in young people. A few theories include the increased amount of time children spend staring at electronic devices and the lack of natural sunlight they take in each day.
The myopia boom is hitting East Asian nations the hardest. Many young people in nations like Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore have myopia levels at or above 80 percent. Indeed, an astonishing 96 percent of people living in the South Korean capital Seoul wear glasses and/or contacts for myopia.
Amazingly, only 60 years ago around 10-20 percent of the Chinese population had nearsightedness. Today, about 90 percent of Chinese teens are myopic.
CooperVision's research was presented at the British Contact Lens Association's 2017 clinical conference. This conference took place in the city of Liverpool between June 9th and 11th.