The University of Valencia (Spain) apply-optical technology so far only used in astronomy to study images of the universe in order to avoid the development of myopia, considered the most common eye disease worldwide.
Robert Montes Mico, Professor of Optics, has achieved one of the prestigious projects of the European Research Council, awarded to senior researchers worldwide with a budget of a million and a half Euros, to study for five years promoting signals processes that generate myopia.
The results may imply significant improvements in a significant public health problem as in the case of myopia in Europe. The study aims to know in detail what are the signs control accommodative processes that occur when the eye receives images on the retina.
Thus "we can modify to control the growth experienced by the eye and prevent, for example, changes its axial length as in the case of myopia" argues Montes Mico.
This project will use visual simulation using adaptive optics technology, commonly used in the astronomical search, to study the human eye and thus exhaustively verify these signals. At a later stage, as stated by the researcher, "we hope to have the tools to modify signals controlling eye accommodative processes using optical devices to control the progression of myopia, especially in children."
Myopia has become a very important condition, besides being the most common eye disease (representing 80%). On one hand, the increase of myopia increases the risk of blindness, glaucoma, retinopathy, retinal detachment or cataracts. And, moreover, it has been shown an increase in prevalence of the disease in developed countries because; in addition to hereditary factors linked to myopia close visions.
In fact, in the U.S. in 30 years, has gone from myopia affect 25% of the population to 42% and, therefore, to incur an annual cost of 7,200 million dollars, according to Robert Montes Mico. Prevalence in Africa or India is 10%, from 15% in South America and 60 to 80% in parts of Asia (up to 90 in China and Taiwan), but for genetic reasons.
So far there is no effective therapy for healing, since myopia operations avoid the use of glasses or contact lenses but do not eliminate the disease. For this reason, this project of the University of Valencia "will advance the treatment of myopia and prevent its development with the creation of glasses or that slow the progression of the disease or end up with it at the same time provide an update on its condition in Europe, "says the professor.
Robert Montes Mico is Doctor of Optometry and Neuroscience at the Institute of Science and Technology, University of Manchester (UK) and develops its research activities in the fields of accommodation, presbyopia and myopia. He currently leads a group of twenty researchers and their research has helped to understand the changes undergone by the human eye with age, especially those related to the accommodation arising in presbyopia, as well as the best solutions to counter with the development of contact or intraocular lenses.