Innovative spectacles slow myopia progression by 60%

Hong Kong researchers report on a two-year study of 160 Chinese children who wore spectacles adapted to prevent myopia progression

Myopia spectacles

A Hong Kong researcher who developed spectacle lenses to combat myopia progression says the technology “helps safeguard the vision of children.”

The specially adapted spectacle lenses were developed by scientists at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Results from a two-year randomised, double-blind clinical trial involving 160 Chinese children reveal that the spectacles slowed myopia progression in 60% of participants and stopped myopia progression in 21.5% of children.

The spectacles use Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments (DIMS) lenses. The technology has a central optical zone for correcting refractive error and a surrounding area of multiple segments of constant myopic defocus which extend to the mid-periphery of the lens.

Professor Carly Lam highlighted that high myopia can cause retinal complications. In serious cases, retinal detachment is a possibility with the potential for permanent blindness or visual impairment as a result.
“The DIMS spectacle lens helps safeguard the vision of children," she emphasised.

Professor To Chi-ho highlighted that one of the challenges of developing myopia control lenses is that the eye moves behind the lens.

“With the DIMS spectacle lens, we are able to put in many micro-lenses all over the surface of the ophthalmic lens. When the eye moves around different regions of the spectacle lens, the eye still experiences a constant amount of myopic defocus,” Professor To explained.

The children involved in the study were aged between eight and 13, with myopia from one to five dioptres and astigmatism and anisometropia of 1.5D or less.

They were assigned spectacles either with DIMS or single vision lenses. The mean myopic progression in the trial group was 0.21mm in the treatment group and 0.53mm in the control group over the two year period.

UK-based myopia expert, Dr Nicola Logan, who was not involved in the research, told OT that the novel design of the spectacle lens looks promising in terms of an intervention to slow myopia progression in children.

“The 60% efficacy reported compares well with myopia control contact lenses such as MiSight dual focus contact lenses and orthokeratology and could offer a real alternative to contact lenses for myopia control,” Dr Logan highlighted.

She observed that it will be interesting to see if the myopia control effect observed over the two-year study persists beyond this timescale. 

Image credit: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University