RLRL effective for preventing myopia in children with premyopia, with up to a 54.1 percent reduction in incidence

WEDNESDAY, April 26, 2023 (HealthDay News) — A repeated low-level, red-light (RLRL) intervention is effective for preventing myopia among children with premyopia, according to a study published online April 26 in JAMA Network Open.

Xiangui He, Ph.D., from the Shanghai Eye Hospital, and colleagues conducted a 12-month school-based randomized clinical trial involving children in grades 1 to 4 with premyopia to examine the efficacy and safety of an RLRL intervention for preventing incident myopia. Children in the intervention group received RLRL therapy twice per day, five days per week, while those in the control group continued usual activities (139 children in each group).

The researchers found that the 12-month incidence of myopia was 40.8 and 61.3 percent in the intervention and control groups, respectively, representing a 33.4 percent reduction in incidence. Children in the intervention group who did not have treatment interruption secondary to the COVID-19 pandemic had an incidence of 28.1 percent, representing a 54.1 percent reduction in incidence. Significant reductions in myopic shifts in terms of axial length and cycloplegic spherical equivalence refraction were seen with the RLRL intervention (mean, 0.30 versus 0.47 mm; and −0.35 versus −0.76 D, respectively). On optical coherence tomography scans, there was no visual acuity or structural damage noted in the intervention group.

“Our findings have public health significance, especially for myopia prevention in countries with a high incidence of myopia,” the authors write. “More studies are needed to understand the long-term efficacy and safety, optimal intervention dose, and potential underlying mechanisms of the RLRL intervention.”

Two authors have a patent pending; one reported financial ties to Eyerising Ltd. and Eyerising International Pty Ltd.

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