Project information

Down syndrome: the benefits of bifocal glasses

Babies born with Down syndrome often go on to have problems with their near vision and need glasses. Some children seem to do much better with bifocals and this research aims to discover why and help ensure children get the right glasses for them

July 2015 - June 2018

Charity information: Action Medical Research

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  • Need

    Need

    Estimates suggest around 60,000 people have Down syndrome in the UK, 7 million worldwide. From an early age, vision problems are common.

    The children also have a learning disability and if vision problems are not recognised and corrected, there’s a danger that people might think a child’s learning disability is more severe than it is. People might then have lower expectations of the child than they should have, meaning the child’s learning is unnecessarily affected.

    Solution

    The study hopes to discover how bifocals improve the vision of children with Down syndrome and their ability to explore the world around them.

    This could lead to better ways to predict which children will benefit from bifocals, along with new prescribing guidelines for specialists in eye clinics, who don’t all know how to prescribe bifocals for children.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Discover how bifocals improve the vision of children with Down syndrome

    Activities

    » Dr Woodhouse is working with a group that includes 80 children with Down syndrome, to establish why bifocal glasses seem to be so beneficial.

    Identify better ways to predict which children will benefit from bifocals, along with new prescribing guidelines for specialists in eye clinics


  • Impact

    Impact

    It is hoped the research will lead to nationwide guidelines so no child misses out.

    Risk

    n/a

    Reporting

    the researcher will provide a message to be passed on to all donors and the interim report will be available after the research has been running for one year

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £169,053

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £169,053 Costs Researcher costs
  • Background

    Location

    Main location: School of Optometry & Vision Sciences, Cardiff University
    Other locations: School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster, the Centre for Child and Adolescent Health, School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, and the Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital of Wales

    Beneficiaries

    Some of the 750 babies with Down syndrome born each year in the UK.

    Estimates suggest around 60,000 people have Down syndrome in the UK, 7 million worldwide. From an early age, vision problems are common.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The work of Action Medical Research, the charity that Duncan Guthrie founded more than 60 years ago, is still driven by his belief – that the diseases that devastate the lives of so many of our children can be beaten. Today we continue to tackle the challenges disease and disability present by funding some of the best medical research in the world. Thanks to advances in science and medicine the prospects for finding cures or new treatments are good.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.

    People

    Dr J Margaret Woodhouse OBE PhD BSc FSMC

    Project leader. Dr Woodhouse, who has studied vision in children with Down syndrome for 25 years and has been awarded an OBE for her work.