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Health News Florida

FDA OKs First Overnight Contact Lenses For Myopia Management

contact lenses.jpg

The Acuvue Abiliti Overnight Therapeutic Lenses, produced by Jacksonville-based Johnson & Johnson Vision, temporarily reshapes the cornea to reduce the rate of axial elongation.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first overnight orthokeratology contact lenses that manage myopia, also known as nearsightedness.

The Acuvue Abiliti Overnight Therapeutic Lenses, produced by Jacksonville-based Johnson & Johnson Vision,  temporarily reshapes a patient’s cornea to reduce the rate of axial elongation.

Myopia worsens when there is axial elongation in a person’s eyes, or when their eyeball’s length grows.

A research study found orthokeratology lenses reduced the axial elongation in myopic children’s eyes an average of 0.28 mm over a two-year period.

Another study found that myopic children younger than 12 are the most vulnerable to develop severe myopia and are at an increased risk for developing sight-threatening eye diseases when they are older. It also found slowing the development of myopia in children reduces the chance that their condition will worsen into adulthood.

"The prevalence of myopia in children is increasing, and as optometrists we are on the front lines of this epidemic that may threaten the vision of future generations," said Dr. Moshe Mendelson, a paid consultant for Johnson & Johnson Vision, said in a news release.

In 2000, an estimated 1.4 billion people globally were documented to have myopia. That number is estimated to increase to 4.5 billion by 2050.

The lenses are expected to be available in the United States by the end of this year. 

Tristan Wood can be reached at newsteam@wjct.org or on Twitter at @TristanDWood.

Copyright 2021 WJCT News 89.9. To see more, visit WJCT News 89.9.