In order to develop effective optical treatment strategies for myopia, it is important to understand how visual experience influences refractive development. Beginning with the discovery of the phenomenon of form deprivation myopia, research involving many animal species has demonstrated that refractive development is regulated by visual feedback. In particular, animal studies have shown that optically imposed myopic defocus slows axial elongation, that the effects of vision are dominated by local retinal mechanisms, and that peripheral vision can dominate central refractive development. In this review, the results obtained from clinical trials of traditional optical treatment strategies employed in efforts to slow myopia progression in children are interpreted in light of the results from animal studies and are compared to the emerging results from preliminary clinical studies of optical treatment strategies that manipulate the effective focus of the peripheral retina. Overall, the results suggest that imposed myopic defocus can slow myopia progression in children and that the effectiveness of an optical treatment strategy in reducing myopia progression is influenced by the extent of the visual field that is manipulated.Highlights
▸ Optical treatment strategies can slow the progression of myopia of children. ▸ Optically imposed myopic defocus effectively slows myopia progression. ▸ Peripheral treatment strategies are more effective than central only strategies.