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Children aged six to 15 sought for 12-month study into slowing progression of short-sightedness by Anglia Ruskin University

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Imagine a health condition that is predicted to affect almost 50 per cent of the global population by the year 2050: a lifelong condition that may increase your risk of serious eye disease and could affect your quality of life - a condition which is reported to be so prevalent in some parts of the world that vision guidelines for airline pilots are said to have been relaxed in order to meet needs.

This can be a reality of myopia, better known as near or short-sightedness.

Anglia Ruskin University is running a study on myopia
Anglia Ruskin University is running a study on myopia

Onset of myopia is typically during childhood and usually continues to progress until the late teens/young adulthood. Myopia development has been linked to various factors, this can include family history of myopia, ethnic background, and environment. Unfortunately, it has been suggested that the pandemic might have increased the risk of myopia, due to two possible risk factors – children staying indoors and increasing near work.

Although short sightedness can easily be corrected using glasses, contact lenses, conventional versions of these approaches don’t always help in slowing down the progression of short-sightedness.

However, over the past five years several solutions to reduce the progression of short sightedness progression brought to market, with many more in trials or development. Among the available and proposed solutions are special types of contact lenses, eye drops, and of particular interest is the recent introduction of an effective spectacle lens that has been suggested to slow down myopia progression.

The Vision and Eye Research Institute in Cambridge, part of Anglia Ruskin University, is one of several UK sites researching the efficacy of such a spectacle lens, the lens is already on the market, but the study will help us to better understand how effective it is in UK-based children.

20 children are being recruited for the trial
20 children are being recruited for the trial

The investigators are looking to recruit 20 children with short-sightedness, aged six-15 years, for a 12-month study involving four visits. You will continue to visit your own optician for regular eye examinations. Children will need to have been diagnosed as being short-sighted for at least six months preceding the study. The spectacles for the trial will be provided for the children at no cost.

The study team are currently scheduling bookings before Christmas and for early January.

If you are interested in learning more then please email Dr Holly Barr, Dr Manbir Nagra, and Professor Shahina Pardhan on manbir.veruresearch@aru.ac.uk for more information.

You can also read more about the work at the Vision and Eye Research Institute a multidisciplinary research environment for vision and eye research here: https://bit.ly/myopia_trial.

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