Research: Myopia update

Bill Harvey reviews myopia research delivered by J&J Vision at the ARVO conference

Unsurprisingly, considering the increasing prevalence of myopia and awareness of its impact upon eye health and sight loss, one key topic for discussion at the 2022 annual conference of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) was myopia. Much of this was of relevance to optometrists and opticians, including the many studies whose delivery had been supported by Johnson & Johnson Vision. This article takes a closer look at the key points to be learned from these papers.

Estimates of the prevalence of global visual impairment (VI) do not seem to include the increasing prevalence of myopia, especially among older adults. If this is taken into account, it is estimated that some 29% of global uncorrectable VI is attributable to myopia and the current VI prevalence figures are a gross under-estimate.1

Myopia, as we all know, is progressive. The higher the level of myopia, the greater the risk of sight loss through retinal detachment, glaucoma, maculopathy and cataract (figure 1). So, anything that might the reduce the level of myopia in old age might be of benefit in reducing the risk of sight loss. This has always been one of the more convincing arguments for myopia control. Researchers are now considering another point. If myopia management delayed the initial onset of myopia, would that also result in a reduced final myopia level and lower risk of sight loss?

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