Contact Lenses Could Soon Stop Nearsightedness Dead

Nearsightedness is a pain in the arse that affects over 30 per cent of Australians -- and it only gets worse with age. But children with myopia will soon be able to wear special contact lenses that will stop the condition in its tracks.

A team of researchers from the State University of New York College of Optometry has developed contact lenses that help change the way the eye develops. Nearsightedness occurs when your eye is too long, which makes it hard to focus on distant objects. And the problem gets worse with age. These new contacts, however, force the eye to grow in a different way.

They use varying focal powers in a single lens, and experiments show that they can change eye growth in a predictable way, stopping elongation and preventing nearsightedness from getting worse. The research will be presented at the Optical Society's Annual Meeting this week.

The researchers are already working out how to turn the contacts into a commercial reality -- and they hope that a design will soon be available to halt the progression of myopia in children. [PhysOrg via Geekosystem]

Image: maikel_nai/Flickr

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