Special lens helps slow near-sightedness in children: study

TORONTO — A type of lens treatment helped slow the progression of near-sightedness in children particularly during the pandemic lockdown, a new study published on Friday suggests.

The study, published in JAMA Open Network, found that an optical defocus treatment helped slow the progression of myopia by 46 per cent, compared with regular single vision lens treatment.

The Hong Kong-based study compared the data from 171 schoolchildren aged seven to 13, with 151 participants who wore defocus incorporated multiple segments (DIMS) lens for their near-sightedness and 56 participants who wore single vision lens.

“During the COVID-19 lockdown, myopia progression was significantly faster with the increased exposure to myopiagenic factors, compared with pre-pandemic conditions. In addition, optical treatment with DIMS lenses was significantly associated with slower myopia progression, despite the negative association between COVID-19 lockdown and myopia progression,” the study said.

Previous studies have suggested a rise in myopia among children during COVID-19, likely due to more time spent in front of screens and less time spent outdoors due to lockdowns and virtual classes.

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