Myopia, or nearsightedness, has a tendency to develop as a person grows with age. The eye slowly adjusts its shape to compensate for the improper focus of light on the retina. Over time this makes things worse, and contact lenses that create farsightedness on the periphery can aggravate the situation further.
David Troilo and his team at the State University of New York (SUNY) College of Optometry in New York City have developed contact lenses that guide the eye to grow in a way that may actually treat myopia. The lenses are somewhat similar to progressive glasses, having varying focal lengths in different regions. By focusing light on the peripheral retina using a different focal setting, the team was able to coax an eye to compensate accordingly and grow toward a more normal shape. It is very much hoped that we might be seeing a real treatment option for myopia in the not too distant future. Dr Troilo will be presenting findings from the research at opcoming Optical Society’s (OSA) Annual Meeting, Frontiers in Optics 2012.
Optical Society press release: Specialty Contact Lenses May One Day Help Halt the Progression of Nearsightedness in Children