Myopia, or near-sightedness, is a common problem. This study developed new instruments to study myopia, as well as how the eye changes through the ageing process.
The project 'Advanced visual optics' (ADV VISUAL OPTICS) began with the hypothesis that peripheral refraction, which has been linked to myopia, is caused by an expanding or elongating retina. To test the hypothesis, a lens was inserted in subjects from Asian countries. Much to the researchers' surprise, the experiment did not improve peripheral refraction.
These findings suggested that a 'one size fits all' approach to myopia will not work. Instead, each individual should be evaluated for a unique solution. To obtain high-quality data more efficiently, the team then developed a new Hartmann–Shack peripheral sensor, which accomplished this goal.
Next, investigators implanted an intraocular lens in subjects who had undergone cataract surgery. This approach met with some success, suggesting that better designed intraocular lenses for the periphery may improve vision.
The second phase of the research involved describing the ageing eye. In addition to looking at the structure of the eye, researchers added a new variable: ocular alignment. The results implied that geometrical changes in the crystalline lens contributed to aberrations in the eye's structure, reducing its ability to compensate. Ocular alignment, however, remained stable.A typical ageing disease, presbyopia — or loss of elasticity of the lenses of the eyes — was then explored. The project team developed a new instrument, which showed that the mechanical stability of the eye is reduced with age. The team plans to study this phenomenon in future studies.
The study points to the need for personalised optical solutions for myopia. Furthermore, to better understand the ageing eye, research with infants and children are needed. This approach is probably the best way to truly understand the eye throughout the human life cycle.
Provided by Cordis