College of Optometry Researchers Seek Children With Nearsightedness for National Clinical Study
Researchers at Pacific University’s College of Optometry are seeking children aged 3 to 10 who are nearsighted in both eyes to participate in a national study of ways to slow the progression of the condition.
The CHAMP Study (Childhood Atropine for Myopia Progression) is a multi-center FDA drug trial that studies the safety and effectiveness of low-dose atropine eye drops that are intended to stop nearsightedness from worsening.
Nearsightedness, or myopia, occurs when the eyeball’s shape or other anomaly causes light to focus somewhere short of the retina. This can cause distant images to appear blurry and out of focus.
While myopia is a common diagnosis, the number of cases has skyrocketed. Just a little more than 45 years ago, about 25 percent of Americans aged 12 to 54 had myopia. But in a study published in 2009, about 42 percent of that population was nearsighted. Researchers predict about 50 billion people worldwide will have myopia by the year 2050 — roughly half the world’s population. Left unchecked, some people with myopia may develop more serious eye diseases.
Researchers at Pacific and elsewhere are exploring ways to slow or stop this trend. “We want to catch kids as early as possible,” said Pacific CHAMP Study project lead and associate professor Chunming Liu OD, PhD.
Parents whose children have been diagnosed with myopia in both eyes are eligible to participate in the four-year study. Participants will receive all study-related visits, eye exams, and eye drops for free, along with a yearly allowance for glasses and/or contact lenses.
Founded in 1849, Pacific University is a diverse learning community offering a unique combination of undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, health professions and optometry. The Pacific University College of Optometry has produced thousands of comprehensive practitioners of leading-edge vision care in its 74-year history and is committed to advancing the field through ambitious research. Through optometry and its other colleges, Pacific University is currently ranked the No. 1 private research university in the Pacific Northwest.