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Michael Collins, Contact Lens
News

Next gen myopia contact lens given funding boost

17/01/2018By Matthew Woodley
An Australian research project investigating the use of next generation contact lenses to combat myopia has received assistance in the form of a new one-year funding agreement with Johnson & Johnson Vision.

The agreement extends the long-term relationship between the contact lens multinational and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), and is intended to assist myopia research being conducted by Professor Michael Collins.

“This new agreement with Johnson & Johnson Vision will help us better understand the development and progression of myopia, which affects around four million people in Australia and more than two billion people globally,” Collins said.

Professor Michael Collins
"We are making certain regions of the lens have different optical powers and provide different focus of light on the retina at the back of the eye. This can change the eye’s growth and slow the progression of myopia."
Professor Michael Collins, QUT

“We are working to develop strategies to slow and stop myopia and, ultimately, to prevent it. Over the next year we will be developing optical designs for contact lenses that can slow your eye growth.

“Usually contact lenses aim to provide clear vision over the whole area of the lens. But we are making certain regions of the lens have different optical powers and provide different focus of light on the retina at the back of the eye. This can change the eye’s growth and slow the progression of myopia,” he explained.

Collins told Insight that while no timeline had been set on when the lens designs would be available to the public, most clinical trails of myopia lasted about 2–3 years.

As myopia often develops at a young age, he also said special consideration needed to be made for the optical characteristics of children’s eyes and the types of visual tasks that they undertake. Collins added it was especially important to tackle the problem early, as it could sometimes lead to more problems later in life.

“People who are myopic have a greatly increased risk of developing other eye problems when they are older, such as retinal degenerations that can lead to partial blindness, so it’s very important to slow down myopia progression when you are younger,” he said.

Myopia currently affects approximately 15% of Australians and is believed to be a result of genetics, and environmental factors – such as doing lots of close work and spending too much time indoors.

More reading: Collins’ myopia research.

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