New contact lens therapy shows potential to impact rising prevalence of myopia in children

A pioneering contact lens therapy has considerable potential to impact the rising prevalence of myopia (nearsightedness) in children, according to highly-anticipated study outcomes presented today at the British Contact Lens Association Clinical Conference in Liverpool, England.

In a featured podium session, CooperVision Senior Manager of Clinical Research Paul Chamberlain reviewed three-year results from the clinical trial assessing a specially-designed, dual-focus myopia control 1-day soft contact lens in reducing the rate of progression of juvenile-onset myopia. The prospective, multi-center, double-masked, randomized multi-year study enrolled 144 myopic children aged 8-12 years from Singapore, Canada, England, and Portugal.

Three-year findings indicated that use of the dual-focus contact lens -- which has alternating visual correction and treatment zones -- was effective in slowing myopia progression: 59% as measured by mean cycloplegic spherical equivalent (SE) and 52% as measured by mean axial elongation of the eye when compared to the children in the control group wearing a single vision 1-day contact lens.

No other prospective randomized controlled study has offered conclusive data for such a high degree of continued efficacy in myopia management using a 1-day soft contact lens over three years. The contact lens-based approach does not induce common side effects exhibited by some alternative pharmacological therapies.

The prevalence of myopia is projected to increase from approximately two billion people worldwide in 2010 to almost five billion people in 2050, bringing with it near- and long-term health challenges.

"Myopia's growth has been dizzying, and now affects the vast majority of young adults in some countries, especially in East Asia," said Arthur Back, Chief Technology Officer for CooperVision and a leading voice on myopia management. "Not only does it create blurred vision, but also increases the likelihood of conditions later in life such as glaucoma, cataract, retinal detachment and myopic maculopathy if not addressed.

"Early intervention by parents, in partnership with eye care professionals, is essential the near- and long-term health and well-being of their children. The CooperVision MiSight dual-focus 1-day lens used in this study provides a new, effective and repeatable approach."

Ensuring that children wear and are happy with the lens is of critical importance to the therapy's effectiveness. Three-year results indicated the dual focus lens was well accepted by children, and did not affect their daily activities such as school work, reading, playing outside, and computer use when compared to the control group. Children in both the test and control groups had a higher satisfaction with contact lenses over spectacles.

Parents of study participants also had a very positive response, noting their children could mostly manage their lens wear independently. Prior to dispensing contact lenses, less than half of the parents were extremely at ease with their child wearing contact lenses, but this increased significantly to 79% after just one month and remained high through the three-year mark. After their children had worn MiSight® 1 day contact lenses for three years, almost 9 out of 10 parents rated their children 'extremely happy' with the overall experience of wearing contact lenses.

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