The first year of the Stabilization of Myopia by Accelerated Reshaping Technique (SMART) Study has produced some encouraging results in a recent announcement. According to Dr. Robert L. Davis, co principal investigator of the SMART trial, “The net effect of this contact lens fitting philosophy is to change the cornea shape for the sole purpose of reducing the amount of myopia as measured by change in refraction” . “The results of the SMART Study so far are very exciting,” said Dr. Davis. “The outcomes of this study may revolutionize how we manage young nearsighted patients from this point forward”.
The SMART Trial involves 300 patients between the ages of 8 and 14. The goal of the study is to see if having patients where overnight orthokeratology or corneal molding lenses will stop or slow the progression of nearsightedness. The SMART Trial is the largest of its kind. Other studies have also shown that preventing nearsightedness with ortho-K contact lenses is possible, such the CANDY Study. A study from Ohio State Unversity suggested that wearing Ortho-K lenses overnight actually prevented the eye from becoming longer. The SMART Trial has just completed the first year of the five year study. We will continue to keep an eye on this potientially ground breaking study.
Study from Ohio State University Confirms Prior Studies Myopia Slowed With Contacts
In February, here in The Eye Doc Blog, we reported that The CANDY Study showed that OrthoKeratology contact lenses markedly slowed the progression of nearsightedness in children. The results of The CANDY study have now been confirmed in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, the new study, Corneal Reshaping and Myopia Progression, showed that children wearing corneal reshaping lenses, also known as ortho-K or orthokeratology lenses significantly reduced the rate of change of the length of the children’s eyes. The study participants wore the lenses for two years and ranged in refractive error from -0.75 to -4.00. The study concluded that previous reports of slowed eye growth following corneal refractive therapy were confirmed.
It’s good to see another study indicating that Orthokeratology Contact Lenses prevent the progression of nearsightedness (myopia). The Controlling Astigmatism & Nearsightedness in Developing Youth Study (CANDY) was based on a relatively small population (28 patients) and it would have been good to see the rate of myopic progression after removing the contact lenses over a greater period of time, however the data was compelling and warrants further study.
As eye doctors we are often asked if we can prevent the progression of nearsightedness in children. Clinically, we feel that the answer is probably yes, however there are relatively few studies that have investigated this common question. The CANDY Study backs up what we feel our clinical experience has taught us. The progression of nearsightedness in CANDY study patients was 0.37D prior to wearing overnight Ortho-K contact lenses. When the patients discontinued wearing their lenses they found that the patient’s refractive error, on average, had increased by only 0.03D.
An FDA sponsored study of 300 children started in 2007 and is expected to continue for 5 years. Hopefully, the FDA study will answer more of our questions. Additional findings from the CANDY Study found that the younger the child the more beneficial was the effect on controlling myopia and the technique was more convenient. A more comprehensive look at Orthokeratology including a link to the CANDY Study is available on the Total Eye Care website.
Without a doubt these are the questions that eye doctors are most frequently asked. It can be confusing when there are common terms for medical conditions. I hope this clears up some confusion. Our first posts will be about the different refractive conditions.
Myopia or nearsightedness is a condition where a person’s uncorrected vision is only clear up close. Instead of the light focusing on the retina, it focuses in front of the retina. A myopic person can read a magazine, however their distance vision is blurry and requires glasses or contact lenses to make it clear.