Nearsighted kids have to wear glasses to correct their lack of eye focus, but this doesn’t cure the problem and may actually make the problem worse over time. A new type of contact lens refocuses light and coaxes the eye to grow in a different way.

Myopia develops when a person’s eye is elongated, which makes it difficult for the lens to focus light onto the far-away retina. Glasses for nearsightedness fix the focus, but they can create farsightedness in the retina. As people get older, the eye grows to move the retina to where the light is — so it gets more elongated, exacerbating the problem, according to the Optical Society of America.

These contacts change how light is focused in the retina, which in turn changes eye growth so it doesn’t stretch out extensively. Contacts based on this design could soon be available for optometrists to prescribe to children, the OSA says.

As long as these contacts don’t squeeze the eye or perform any other type of ocular torture — besides the inherent torture in inserting and removing the contacts — they seem like a sound solution.

[via PhysOrg]