The year 2020 is right around the corner. In my career I don’t think I’ve seen a more exciting time in our industry. A revolution is occurring in myopia management and it’s quickly gathering momentum. Our cause is just: to decrease visual impairment due to pathological myopia. By 2050 it is estimated that half of the world’s population will be myopic and a fifth of these people will be at a significantly increased risk of blindness.
Myopia invaded our urbanised, technologically driven lives with stealth and without discrimination. In 1950 there was virtually no myopia in the Inuit population, yet by 1969 after the introduction of compulsory education in Canada, myopia had increased to 50% of children. We turned a blind eye to the enemy within for many years, but the seeds of this revolution started in our clinical practices when we realised that treatments such as orthokeratology slowed myopia progression. It’s taken research some time to catch up, but now we’re attacking the cause from the front and flanks and we have so many more weapons in our armoury: atropine, peripheral defocus modifying soft contact lenses, vision therapy, not to mention spectacle lens options. In this month’s edition we have articles from some of the best researchers and clinicians in the country who all share the same passion to prevent avoidable vision loss. These pioneers sacrifice significant time and personal expense to spread the word not just in Australia but throughout Asia where the battle is at its most intense. I hope you enjoy our myopia edition and it inspires you to rally to the cause.
Founding partner and Professional Education Officer of EyeQ Optometrists. Board member of the Cornea and Contact Lens Society of New South Wales.
80% (APPROX) of school leavers in East and Southeast Asia affected
10 TO 20% of myopic students in East and Southeast Asia have high myopia
50% of the global population is predicted to be affected by 2050