MYOPIA IN THE YOUNG
Myopia (short-sightedness) occurs when rays of light are brought
to a focus in front of the
retina because the optical power of the
eye is too great, or the eye is too long. The latest
proves that contact lenses can slow down the progression of Myopia and, in
some cases, halt it altogether.
Do not let fear and prejudice deter the fitting of contact lenses to
children. They often make the
most successful patients.
A research study carried out at the University of Houston Contact
Lens Institute fitted myopic
children aged eight to thirteen with
Rigid Gas Permeable or hard contact lenses. The average
increase in myopia over three years was one-third the rate of progression of those myopic children
wearing spectacles. The
Houston study found that not only do hard lenses successfully
the process of myopia, the benefit persisted when the
contact lens wear was resumed after being
discontinued for a few months.
Between the ages of seven and 11 years, six percent of the
population has 0.5 dioptres (the unit
used to measure
short-sightedness) or more of myopia.
The big jump in myopia comes between ages 12 and 13 with an
increase of 25 percent in young
people who have a 0.5 dioptres.
The way in which rigid lenses stabilize myopia is thought to be
either by flattening the growing
cornea, or by restraining axial
elongation of the eye. (i.e. in both cases, preserving the correct
Rigid lenses are the most effective in retarding the onset and
progression of myopia.
- Information provided by the American Optometric Association
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