The CHAMP Study

The Childhood Atropine for Myopia Progression (CHAMP) study is investigating whether the use of eye drops can slow the progression of myopia (short-sightedness) in children.

What is myopia?

Myopia is commonly known as “short-sightedness” and causes distant objects to appear blurry.

This happens when the eye grows too long (front to back), so light does not focus accurately on the retina.

Myopia tends to increase during school years as the eye continues to grow. This results in the need for stronger glass or contact lens prescriptions.

Myopia can affect a child’s self-image and it may impact a child’s ability to participate in sports.

Having myopic parents puts a child at greater risk for developing myopia during the school years.

Myopia - The Growing Epidemic


Myopia is a growing epidemic, that is expected to affect one third of the worldwide population by 2020. By 2050, it is projected that almost 50% of the world’s population will have myopia.


If myopia progression occurs, it leads to thicker glasses or contact lenses, and increases the risk of children developing serious eye diseases, like glaucoma and retinal detachments, later in life.


Today, 1 out of 20 of the global population will have severe short-sightedness known as “high myopia.”


Effective treatments that could stop or delay myopia progression are needed so that the problems associated with higher myopia can be avoided.

The CHAMP study

Ulster University is a participant in The Childhood Atropine for Myopia Progression (CHAMP) Study.

What is the CHAMP study?

The purpose of this study is to see if a study eye drop can slow the progression of myopia in children.

Two different doses of the study eye drop will be compared to a placebo eye drop, which looks like the study eye drop but contains no active medication.

The study will determine how well the study eye drop works, while also checking its safety.

The results of this study may help children with short-sightedness in the future.

By participating in this study, the child becomes an important part of the effort to learn more about myopia and how to slow down the myopic progression that usually happens in childhood.

The study eye drop has not been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is considered “investigational.”

Why are we investigating an alternative to myopia correction?

  • Children often become frustrated with myopia correction
  • Replacing outdated prescriptions with new glasses and contact lenses is costly
  • Frequent eye visits are necessary

Who is eligible to participate in the CHAMP study?

To be considered for participation in this study, the child must:

  • Have myopia in both eyes
  • Be age 3 to less than 11 years old at the start of the study

Further screening questions will be asked prior to scheduling an appointment.

What happens if we participate in the CHAMP Study?

  • The child will use the study eye drops every day.
  • The child will have eye examination visits with an eyecare professional twice a year for the next 4 years.
  • If the child receives placebo eye drops during the first part of the study, he or she will be given the study eye drops during the last part of the study.

How can I find out more information on the CHAMP study?

Recruitment for the CHAMP study at Ulster University has now closed, however, if you would like more information on the study, or are interested in future myopia research, please contact one of the CHAMP team members using the information below.

Emma McConnell

Research Associate in Optometry and Vision Science

School of Biomedical Sciences

Professor Kathryn Saunders

Professor of Optometry and Vision Science

School of Biomedical Sciences

Patrick Richardson

Lecturer Optometry Clinic Manager

School of Biomedical Sciences

Dr Ruth Price

Clinical Trials Manager

School of Biomedical Sciences

Lesley Doyle

Research Associate in Optometry and Vision Science

School of Biomedical Sciences