Further information can be found on the following webpages:
University of Plymouth Myopia Management clinic, the Eye and Vision Research Group, and the College of Optometrists - Childhood-onset myopia management: Evidence review.
The human eye possesses a remarkable coordinated mechanism by which eye growth and optics work synchronously to create a clear image of our world on the retina. However, this delicately balanced system often fails, requiring the use of glasses or contact lenses to achieve clear focus. Short-sightedness (myopia) typically occurs when the eye is too elongated for its optics, resulting in blurred distance vision for the individual. Myopic eyes have a higher risk of developing sight-threatening diseases such as glaucoma and retinal detachment, making it a significant public health concern. It is predicted that half of the global population will be myopic by 2050.
While new strategies for slowing down myopia in children are now available, our understanding of their underlying mechanisms still requires confirmation. Although these treatments are generally effective on average, there is considerable variability between participants. Consequently, clinicians cannot predict the effectiveness of any specific treatment for an individual child. To comprehend when and why treatments work, it is necessary to determine the shape of the eye and analyse its optics. MRI provides a high-resolution image allowing for more accurate optical modelling when compared with alternative methods such as ultra-sound.
The aim of this project is to enhance our understanding of the relationship between the retinal image and the structural characteristics of the eye, leading to improved comprehension of the mechanisms involved in myopia development and control.
This will be achieved through the examination and modelling of the human eye and retinal shape using MRI imaging. Additionally, computer ray tracing, utilizing actual clinical eye measurements (ocular biometry), will enable the evaluation of the eye's optics.
The subsequent phase of this research project aims to investigate how ocular growth progresses over time in children with and without myopia. The study will also assess these changes in children undergoing myopia management treatment.