top of page

Myopia Control

Did you know that myopia is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world? It's unfortunately true. 

 

Myopia (most commonly called nearsightedness) is the most common refractive error and occurs when there is a mismatch between the axial length of the eye and its refractive components. Essentially, the image seen is being projected in front of the retina instead of on the retina, either by excessive eye elongation or excessive corneal curvature. 

 

The prevalence of myopia is increasing worldwide, and at the current trajectory it is estimated by 2050 half of the world's population will be nearsighted (compared to 28% in 2010).

 

The onset of myopia is also occurring at an earlier age., which is concerning as earlier onset will naturally lead to an increased risk of high myopia with the predicted prevalence of high myopia being 10% of the world’s population by 2050. 

source: Canadian Association of Optometry

Myopia Explained.gif
Myopia Risk_edited.jpg

Health Implications of Myopia

There is no “safe” level of myopia, given that all levels of

myopia have an accompanying increased risk of eye

diseases including:

  • cataracts

  • glaucoma

  • retinal detachment

  • myopic macular degeneration

The increased visual impairment that can result from myopia, and in particular high myopia, has been identified by the World Health Organization as a significant public health concern.

In Canada, vision disorders have been ranked eighth among diseases in terms of economic burden on the health care system, ahead of such things as , endocrine diseases, Neoplasms, infectious diseases, and diseases of the blood. In 2019, the direct cost of vision loss to the Canadian health care system was estimated at $9.5 billion. People with significant vision impairment are less likely to actively participate in society and have an impact on education, employment, mental health, and functional capacity. 

Risk Factors for Myopia

There is clear evidence of a variety of risk factors that lead to myopia and subsequently high myopia. These risk factors include, but are not limited to:

 

Family History

 A child with one or two myopic parents has a greater chance of being myopic than one with no family history of myopia. Additionally, children who have highly myopic parents are more likely themselves to have high myopia.

 

Outdoor Time/Play

There is clear evidence that spending time outdoors can delay the onset of myopia, with even an extra hour per week of outside time having a positive impact on disease progression.

 

Presenting Refractive Error: Children who present with less hyperopia than expected for their age (for example ≤ +0.75D at 6 years of age), are at a higher risk of developing myopia.

 

Ethnicity

Independent of location, East Asian children have a higher likelihood of being myopic compared to children from other ethnic backgrounds.17,18

 

Environmental Factors

Additional risk factors include increased near work (think cellphones and tablets!) and increased screen time.

bottom of page