World class research optometrist from Hereford helps launch MiSight to Herefordshire kids at BBR Optometry

6 March 2017

BBR Optometry is delighted to announce that it is one of the first practices in the UK to offer MiSight, a revolutionary new contact lens clinically proven to reduce myopic development in children and prevent sight-threatening conditions.

Developed by world-class research optometrist Paul Chamberlain, who is originally from Hereford himself and is now Head of Research at world-leading contact lens manufacturers Coopervision, the new lens has been shown to slow the progress of myopia (shortsightedness) by up to 60% over two years.

Nick Black, BBR’s contact lens specialist (pictured), explains: “Many people think myopia isn’t a major problem as it can be controlled by spectacles, prescription contact lenses or laser surgery.

“But what many do not realise are the underlying medical problems that potentially affect myopic people throughout their lifetime, including structural abnormalities such as glaucoma, retinal degeneration, tears and detachments alongside the possibility of loss of central vision by myopic macular degeneration. Tragically, any of these conditions are potentially blinding.

“Myopia is characterised by an elongation of the eyeball as a child grows and these new lenses are particularly welcome because the condition is predicted to affect around 56% of Europe’s population by 2050,” he added.

BBR Optometry has been at the forefront of developing and offering strategies for myopia control working on the best interpretation of the available information. For example, by using “Overnight Vision Correction” (OVC) or ortho-keratology, BBR has been able to offer an increased likelihood of the slowing down of myopic progression.

However, the ever-increasing numbers of people with myopia has been puzzling optometrists, ophthalmologists and public health medicine for some time and there is still no clear reason why myopic development occurs.

Nick adds: “That is why I am delighted that we can now offer these MiSight lenses in advance of the general launch because they are the first product ever to offer a genuine way to reduce myopic development.

“Our chairman Nick Rumney and optometrist Laura have both, in the company of colleagues from Spain, Portugal, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, received training and support in these lenses from Paul and the fact he originally comes from Hereford makes us even more excited that we are now working closely together to launch this product,” he added.

MiSight has been trialled for two years in Canada, the UK, Singapore and Portugal and data collected demonstrated a proven 59% reduction in shortsightedness. Figures showed that a child might have less than half the amount of shortsightedness simply by wearing a scientifically designed correcting lens for at least ten hours per day for at least six days per week. 

Due to the strong evidence linking increasing myopia with ocular conditions which could result in future sight loss, it is recommended that the MiSight lens should be fitted as early as possible in the cycle of myopia progression and is available in a range of prescriptions, including those in the lower ranges.

Nick adds: “Due to the enormous benefits these lenses offer, we are encouraging a pro-active approach in fitting children of all ages to catch myopia in the early stages as this offers the best possible outcomes. This is not an approach that can be dipped in and out of because, once started, there is a commitment to maintain therapy and management.

“The lenses are also not available on the NHS but only on a planned monthly payment programme which includes all professional examination and fitting fees plus the supply of the unique and revolutionary product,” he added.

There is no limit or barrier to the age of children who are can be fitted with contact lenses and they can be fitted to children as young as five years old. It has been shown that children are very responsive to maintaining good habits and hygiene when fitted from an early age.

In fact, 100% of the children used in the MiSight study were able to independently remove their contact lenses without parental assistance, by end of the first month and required very little parental intervention with their lens care from then on. 

The lenses also offer many other benefits for children, especially those who are keen on playing sports.

Nick explains: “Along with myopia control, 98-100% of the students in the trials reported improvements in their daily activities from being spectacle free, such as playing outdoors, and 90% of children also reported not feeling or only sometimes being aware of their lenses.

“So if your child has myopia please make an appointment now to see how MiSight can make a real difference to their future,” he added.

The fitting and supply of any optical appliance to those under 16 is highly regulated and not permitted by any other than registered optometrists, contact lens opticians and doctors. Please note the fitting and supply of MiSight will require a signed informed consent procedure.

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