The very limited sale of glasses capable of stopping or reversing myopia begins in Japan

I’ve been nearsighted for a long time, and it’s not just because I sold all my Apple stock in 2006. Like many other nearsighted people, I can’t see things very well more than a meter my nose. Although options like laser surgery exist, I’ve mostly resigned myself to a life of glasses on my face.

But now a promise of something better has emerged from Kubota Pharmaceutical in the form of specially designed glasses that are said to be able to reverse the effects of myopia.

▼ They really have a special look

The most common form of nearsightedness is called axial myopia, which is where the person’s eyeballs are somehow squished into a more oval shape lengthwise by focusing too much on close things . Naturally, when a person loses long-range sight, they rely more on short-range sight, and the condition only gets worse.

What Kubota Glass does is shine very small lights on your retina to simulate close-range blurring, forcing you to look farther and in doing so bear the pressure of the axial deformation of the eyeballs. It’s kind of like how some people have reported improved vision from virtual reality, but much more refined.

▼ Kubota Glass is actually a wearable technology version of more elaborate myopia treatment equipment

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Long-term testing is still needed to fully assess the effectiveness of Kubota Glass in this area, but studies to date suggest that it is at least effective in halting the progression of myopia.

This was enough for Kubota Glass to be approved as a medical device in Taiwan and the United States. Kubota Pharmaceutical also seems to trust them, so much so that they charge 770,000 yen a pair. That’s probably too steep for many people to take a chance on this still virtually unknown treatment, but the manufacturers are putting their money where they are and also offering a 100% satisfaction guarantee on this first wave of glasses.

“Wave” may be too strong a word, as there are actually only 20 pairs up for grabs until September 15, sold by just four opticians in Japan – three in Hyogo Prefecture and one in Kanagawa. This is a test to gauge demand for future sales.

・Niimi Eye Institute (Akashi, Hyogo Prefecture)

・Neue (Akashi, Hyōgo Prefecture)

・Neue Kids (Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture)

・Tokyo Contact Sky Building Glasses (Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture)

Hopefully it will prove to be an indispensable tool in the fight against myopia. According to the company’s research, myopia is a rapidly growing problem that is expected to affect half of the world’s population by 2050. It is particularly prevalent among younger generations who grow up on portable screens to watch their TikTok video games and Pac-Man.

A study by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in 2009 found that around 25% of first-graders had less than perfect eyesight, a figure that has climbed to 50% for sixth graders.

So hopefully Kubota Glass, or preferably a more affordable version of it, has what it takes to stem this tide before we all start bumping into phone polls all the time.

Source, images: PR Times via ITmedia Business online

Insert images: PR Times

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