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New therapies for the short-sighted

The blue bars on the school desks, at first sight, to the safety bar of a chairlift. However, the children in this primary school in Hong Kong, neither in mind, nor have in their classrooms in the next time to withdraw. As the Chinese newspaper "South China Morning Post" reported a few days ago, have not bought the parents of the students in the metal rods, so your kids can bend when read in too deep about the books. So you want to a dizzying height of flight of a different type to slow: the increasing number of myopic children in China.

Already in 2015 the journal "Nature had been reported" on its front page that the transparency increases in the short worldwide, the most striking is the increase in East Asia is the most. In Beijing, more than 80 percent of the Teenagers are short-sighted, according to a study in the journal "Plos One".

In the past year, the Chinese state President Xi Jinping, the topic was a national priority. In the United States, the myopia affects 41 percent of the population, in Germany the primary school are sighted at the end of about 15 per cent of the children in the short, up to the age of 25 years, around 45 percent of the people. In Switzerland no Figures are collected, but also here, experts from a significant increase in reports, such as the Swiss ophthalmological society on request says.

especially in highly myopic people, with more than six diopters, have an increased risk of grey and green Star, as well as for a retinal detachment. Therefore eye doctors to the progression of the slow down short-sightedness, especially when it starts early in childhood. In the case of short-sighted children of the eyeball growing too fast.

"starts The sooner myopia, the greater you will be pronounced at the end of the youth age," says Wolf Lagrèze, head of the section of neuro-ophthalmology, children ophthalmology and squint treatment to the clinic of ophthalmology at the University hospital of Freiburg I. Br. The look myopia is increasing worldwide, especially because children and adolescents spend more and more time in the screens of mobile phone, Tablet or Computer.

eyeball growth, inhibit

Yet on the basis of doctors , especially in Asia, for ways to stop the frightening increase. "In the meantime the topic has also been in Europe and the United States, are of great interest," says Lagrèze, who reported on the Congress of the German ophthalmologic society on the state of the research. Above all, he told of to Try to delay the growth in length of the eyes.

In healthy eyes is bundled skin to that of the incident light on the retina. There is a sharp image. In the case of short-sighted people, however, have stretched the eyes so that the pooling takes place in front of the retina; it looks blurred. The eyeball is only a Millimeter longer than normal, the about of 2.7 diopters. to inhibit the

this growth, hope eye physicians increasingly turn to atropine – a substance derived from the belladonna, with the physician earlier, for example before eye examinations, the pupils of their patients extended. Atropine is highly toxic, it is found, except in the belladonna also in other Solanaceae such as henbane or jimson weed. In the smallest of doses, it is also used in medicine, for example, in the case of heart problems, to use.

"the earlier the myopia starts short, the more pronounced it will be towards the end of youth."Wolf Lagrèze, head of ophthalmology at the University of Freiburg I. Br.

In two groundbreaking studies showed researchers from Singapore years ago, that the eyes of Asian children worsened with the drop of the treatment to be slower than without. Meanwhile, more than 20 studies in the USA and Europe to investigate the treatment of patients in the West.

Already three publications from Europe have appeared in this year, on studies in Spain, Italy, and a small pilot study of elementary students in Freiburg. 56 children at the age from 6 to 17 years participated in the German study, their short-sightedness had increased prior to the start of the drop therapy, on average, about 1.05 diopters per year, after twelve months of treatment, the Doctors were able to reduce this value to 0.40 diopters.

"have confirmed The earlier results, therefore, in the case of the European kids," says Frank Schaffel, head of the section for neurobiology of the eye at the research Institute of ophthalmology of the University hospital of Tübingen. As the only side effect, the physicians observed a slightly advanced pupil. Still, however, the therapy in Germany is not approved, the cost of 150 up to 500 Euro per year to be raised by the parents themselves.

acts Like atropine, it is unclear

As atropine myopia will slow down carefully, to know Schaffel and colleagues, not exactly. You suspect that in the therapy of, among other things, certain cells of the network distribute the skin more dopamine – a neurotransmitter that inhibits the growth in length of the eye. However, 10 to 20 percent of the children do not speak, according to the study, on the therapy.

"Why is this so, we don't know," says Schaffel. Together with colleagues, he wants to investigate whether children respond with a particularly strong far provided the pupil after atropine administration may not be particularly well to the therapy. "Then we could say in advance, who is suitable for treatment," he says. The best atropine could look treatment for highly myopic children, would like to find out the eye doctor and Epidemiologist Caroline Klaver of the University of Rotterdam. In 2016, they reported a therapy with a very high concentration of atropine, instead of a 0.01 percent solution you had used a 0.5-percent. Thus, the loss of delayed deterioration of the 60 children treated by a Diopter per year to 0.1 diopters.

However, 72 percent of the children were under the therapy because of their wide provided for pupils are strong. 38 percent of the Treated with the difficult to read. And the therapy requires discipline, every evening to pour the kids drops in their eyes. "But after three years of treatment, the length growth of the eye was still 70 percent lower than at the start of therapy," says Klaver about their as yet unpublished results.

stay in the open as a prevention

researchers are also trying to outsmart the eyes of the patient in a targeted manner. Thus, it can distinguish, for example, the retina, whether the sharp image is formed in front of her, as in the case of myopia, or behind it – then the eye afterwards grows, so to speak. Because short-sightedness glasses, often in Parts of the visual field überkorrigieren, you can reinforce the short-sightedness still.

Therefore, some eye doctors offer their patients more strengths of glasses with different sharpness levels for Near and distance vision. As a quasi-residual short-sightedness uncorrected, so that the eye knows that no more growth is needed: "The eye is formed from the two levels is an average, remains always in front of the retina," says Schaffel.

According to the same principle, has incorporated a Team of Carly Lam from the school of optometry of the Polytechnic University in Hung Hom, Hong Kong, special micro-lenses in the glasses. In a study of a total of 160 children, she managed the progression of chokes, the short-sightedness of 0.41 diopters per year. In the control group it was of 0.85 diopters. "We have found an easy way to slow down short-sightedness," she says. A company has brought in the glasses, in the meantime, in China, on the market, by the summer of 2020 they will also be sold in Europe.

So that children in the first place, short-sighted, you should always read with a distance of at least 30 centimeters, advises Lagrèze the Freiburg-based eye doctor, the pupils with the blue metal bars in Hong Kong. And, above all, the children should be at least two hours per day Outdoors. "The light of day halved the risk of short-sightedness," says Lagrèze. The school children of the Yanxi Experimental Primary School in the southern Chinese city of Yangjiang, in a newly built building sitting – made of glass.

Created: 31.10.2019, 13:54 PM

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