Contact lens research offers hope for myopic children

Specially designed contact lenses that slow the progression of myopia is the next step in a longterm partnership for the University of Waterloo and CooperVision, and could help millions of people who suffer from nearsightedness.

Researchers are evaluating the success of these unique lenses, which change the way light is focused on the retina at the back of the eye, on a group of nearsighted children. Their eyes are measured regularly over a five-year period at the Centre for Contact Lens Research (CCLR) to determine the extent that the lenses are slowing the progression of myopia.

A researcher at CCLR synthesizes new materials to create contact lenses that use nanotechnology to release drugs slowly into the eye.

A researcher at CCLR synthesizes new materials to create contact lenses that use nanotechnology to relase drugs slowly into the eye.

While low levels of myopia can be inconvenient, people with high levels risk developing glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal detachment, which can cause vision loss. The special lenses could dramatically reduce the number of people who develop high degrees of myopia and its associated ocular complications. If the study proves the lenses are successful in slowing myopia’s progression, they would reduce the cost of eye care globally and change the way optometry is practised.