Researchers at the University of Arizona received a $4.1 million grant from the NEI to study the effects of eyeglasses to correct astigmatism in toddlers and whether it can improve overall development.
“The critical questions are if eyeglasses are prescribed for astigmatism in this age range, will children wear them, and will they produce a measurable impact on vision and language, cognitive and motor development?” Erin M. Harvey, PhD, associate professor of ophthalmology and public health and co-principal investigator for this study said in a press release from the university.
According to the release, the study will use wearable sensors to determine how often the toddlers, age 3 years or younger, are wearing their eyeglasses. The project is designed to help parents and pediatricians determine if the benefits of these eyeglasses outweigh the expense and supervision required for children with eyeglasses. The glasses will be equipped with a heat-sensitive sensor to detect whether or not the child is regularly wearing the eye wear.
The project will last until participants turn 3 years old, then the researchers will test each child’s vision and measure their language, cognitive and motor development. The study will be able to determine whether more clinical support made an impact on how often the children wore their eyeglasses and if more wear time effects measurable development outcomes.