Nearsightedness Controlled With New Contact Lens Technology
On June 30 2011 the Myopia Control With Simultaneous Vision Approach Clinical Study was registered as complete at ClinicalTrials.gov. This double blind study involved 100 children testing a contact lens designed to slow the progression of nearsightedness (myopia). Optometry researchers have been studying the interaction between central deatailed vision and peripheral vision. Eye doctors have found defocusing peripheral vision with specially designed lenses can reduce progression of nearsightedness in animal studies. Now we are awaiting the results of this clinical vision study with children.
Optometry Study On Controlling Myopia In Children With Contact Lenses
Vision researchers at the Hong Kong PolyU School of Optometry were led by optometrist Carly SY Lam in studying the effect of simaltaneous multifocal contact lens wear on the progression of myopia in children. Simaltaneous bifocal contact lenses are currnetly used for contact lens patients over the age of 40 that can no longer focus clearly for near vision. The current generation of multifocal contact lenses correct aging eyes presbyopia by presenting near and distance vision images at the same time, or simultaneously. The brain learns how ot adapt and focus only on the distance required, while ignoring the other image. The images are typically produced by a central zone for one distance and the surrounding part of the lens for the range needed. It sounds complicated but with todays contact lenses about 75% of the over 40 crowd will be successful with this type of contact lens option. Children are even more flexible and readily adapt to unusaul visual conditions.
The lens in this study was referred to as a “Defocus Incorporated Soft Contact (DISC) lens”.-also as a “simultaneous vision bifocal soft contact lenses with myopic defocus to control the progression of myopia”. It is undoubtably very similiar to the type of contact lenses we use today when patients start complaining that their arms are too short.
CIBA Vision Future Bifocal Contact Lens To Prevent Nearsightedness?
Several players appear to be poised to take advantage of this type of technology, CIBA Vision (now Alcon) for contact lenses and Ziess for the eyeglasses version. While the outcome of the trial has not been published yet, there appears to be forward motion in the industry and I believe we can expect a blockbuster product in the near (or nearer) future. WIth nearsightedness effecting close over 1 billion people in the world and growing, the market is enormous. The consequences of myopia go far beyond requiring corrective contact len or eye glass wear. The elongation of the eye from nearsighted changes results in significant blindness and visual problems within the myopic population. Research has been forwarded by the Vision Cooperative Research Centre (Vision CRC) in Australia led by optometrist Brien Holden and the University of Houston under Dr. Earl Smith.
The US National Institue of Health provides the registry and results database of federally and privately supported clinical trials conducted in the United States and around the world. The registry can be found at ClinicalTrials.gov. where over 100,000 trials are currently listed in the database. It is important to note that clinical trials do have limitations. There are two major criteria listed:
(1) Trials need to be in conformance with any applicable human subject or ethics review regulations (or equivalent)
(2) Trial need to be in conformance with any applicable regulations of the national (or regional) health authority (or equivalent).
International research publishing standards help keep honesty in the system. Regulations and standards can still vary by country so all clinical trials should be taken as just that, trial findings. That being said, I believe this will prove to be one of the largest changes in optometric care we see in our lifetimes.