Myopia is a condition in which distance vision is blurry but one’s close vision remains clear (hence it’s common name “near-sightedness”). It is most commonly caused by the eye growing too long, and is one of the most common reasons that people wear glasses or contact lenses. Myopia typically develops in childhood and continues to progress until early adulthood, resulting in the need for stronger and stronger glasses over time. But the inconvenience of needing glasses is not the greatest concern. Myopia increases the risk of several different eye diseases, including retinal detachment, glaucoma, cataracts and myopic macular degeneration. Decades of research have helped us to develop several ways to control myopia and reduce the risk of eye disease later in life.
Up until recently, our best treatment options for trying to slow myopia progression involved contact lens wear or medication eye drops (low dose atropine). The spectacle lens options available were not nearly as effective. However, the new innovative MiyoSmart spectacle lens design from Hoya has leveled the playing field. A two year clinical trial showed that MiyoSmart lenses on average reduced the rate of myopia progression by 59% and slowed the axial elongation (eye length growth) by 60% compared to children wearing traditional glasses. The results of the study were published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.
How Do MiyoSmart Lenses Work?
The MiyoSmart lens incorporates the D.I.M.S (Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments) technology, which was designed by researchers at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s Centre for Myopia Research. The DIMS technology is a proprietary honeycomb design that has a clear 9.4 mm central optical zone surrounded by hundreds of tiny lenslets with plus power. The clear central zone of the lens allows light entering the eye from straight ahead to focus perfectly on the retina. This provides crisp clear vision in the distance and for near tasks. The peripheral treatment zone causes peripheral light to be focused in front of the retina instead of behind the retina like it would in traditional spectacle lenses. This seems to send a strong signal to the eye to stop growing and elongating, which helps to slow the progression of myopia and prevent the child’s prescription from increasing so quickly.
Here is a photo of the MiyoSmart lens. The lenslets look somewhat like dimples on a golf ball, however they are quite difficult to see when looking directly at the lens while a person is wearing it. Hoya has been able to manufacture the lens with a smooth surface and a cosmetic appearance very similar to a regular single vision lens.
The MiyoSmart lens is a non-invasive and child-friendly alternative to contact lenses or eyedrops. They are easy to adapt to and provide us with a new effective treatment for slowing the progression of myopia. For more information about myopia and the treatment options, speak to your optometrist or visit our website at www.myeyecare.ca.