Nearsightedness, also referred to as myopia, causes blurring of objects at a distance. It affects over 1.45 billion people globally. When diagnosed during childhood years it can progress quickly, leading to dependence on glasses or contact lenses for most visual activities. A family history of myopia (at least one parent) increases the risk of having progressive myopia.
There has not been any way to alter the increase of myopia, until recently. A new spectacle lens from Zeiss called MyoVision has been developed that has been shown to slow myopia progression by an average of 30% in children! This lens is a unique and patented design that changes the way light focuses on the back of the eye (retina). Conventional spectacle lenses only provide sharp focus on the very centre of the retina. The MyoVision is designed to allow images to be clearly focused on the peripheral part of the retina as well. This increased clarity stops the “signal” that directs the eye to keep getting more nearsighted over time.
The main force behind myopia progression seems to be eye elongation. That is, the eyes of nearsighted people are longer from front to back. A strategy to increase the clarity of the retinal image peripherally as well as centrally removes any blurring from the image and is thought to actually slow the growth of the eye.
In a study involving 210 Asian children age 6 through 16 with myopia, the MyoVision was shown to decrease the progression of myopia by an average of 30%. An additional study is underway with non-Asian children.
This is exciting news as we now have an answer to the frequently-asked question “isn’t there anything you can do for my child’s worsening vision?”. The MyoVision lenses are now available at Mountain View Optometry. A projected 56% of the world population will be nearsighted by the year 2020 (no pun intended) so this new technology may be the beginning of a whole new direction in the field of optometry and vision correction.