Optometry Professor Receives Vision Residency Award for Myopia Management
Pacific University Optometry Professor Mari Fujimoto OD ’19 was honored with one of the 2020 Johnson & Johnson Vision Residency Awards. The George W. Mertz Contact Lens Residency Award, announced in August, supports post-graduate advanced training in optometric clinical care, education and research methods specific to the fields of children’s vision and contact lenses.
“This is a wonderful honor and recognition for the hard work that Dr. Fujimoto has put in this past year during her residency. The award recognizes talented residents who demonstrate a passion and commitment to practice, research and education,” said Dr. Fraser Horn, interim dean College of Optometry. “We are so excited for her to be honored this way and are grateful for Dr. Fujimoto joining the faculty.”
The pilot study that garnered Fujimoto the award examined myopia management in three subjects who wore multifocal gas permeable (GP) contact lenses. Fujimoto said a topic of growing concern, especially as people become more dependent on technology, is the increasing development of myopia or nearsightedness.
“When myopia continues to worsen, what happens is that our eye grows longer, increasing the risk of ocular complications that are detrimental to vision,” Fujimoto said. ”So what we do with contact lenses is create these optics which help slow the growth of the eye.”
Three optometry students took part in the pilot study. They wore a corneal gas-permeable contact lens with myopia control optics on one eye and a normal correcting lens, without myopia control optics, on the other eye. Changes in choroidal thickness were then measured to determine whether the lens design would offer a potential myopia management effect. The choroid is a structure in the back of the eye that provides oxygen and nutrients through blood flow and “has been shown to thicken in response to myopia control methods,” Fujimoto added.
“The results of the non-IRB pilot study are promising,” Fujimoto said, ”because it clinically assessed the response of the choroid and showed potential success of myopia management with a less frequently used modality of contact lenses.” The hope is to move toward larger scale testing to assess the clinical efficacy of these contact lenses for myopia management.
Learn more about research conducted by the College of Optometry’s faculty, staff, and graduate and professional students to improve visual health and visual performance.