STUDY TO MEASURE BENEFITS OF EYEGLASSES FOR TODDLERS

A team of University of Arizona researchers has received a five-year, $4.1 million grant to study whether using eyeglasses to correct astigmatism in toddlers improves language, cognitive and motor development.

The study, funded by the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health, is the first to use wearable sensors to determine how often children age 3 or younger are wearing their eyeglasses. Dubbed the SPEC Trial, for Spectacle Prescribing in Early Childhood, the project is designed to help parents and pediatricians determine if the benefits of treatment outweigh the expense and supervision required for eyeglasses for young children.

Astigmatism is the most prevalent type of vision problem in children between 1 and 3 years old, a time of immense physical and cognitive development. As a child grows, the shape of the eye changes and, in some cases, astigmatism can disappear. Evidence also suggests that using eyeglasses to treat young children with astigmatism may stimulate the development of normal vision.

The researchers will divide children with astigmatism, ages 12-35 months, into two groups. The team will prescribe eyeglasses and provide traditional support to one group. They will also prescribe eyeglasses to the second group but will offer significant additional clinical support to encourage the children to wear their eyeglasses.

The team decided to use a heat-sensitive sensor while keeping in mind concerns about the safety of button batteries and children swallowing the device, to collect reliable data.

The sensor does not collect any identifiable data – only date, time and temperature.

Source Invision Mag




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