Myopia was once considered a simple refractive error with few, if any, long-term eye health consequences, but it is now recognized as one of the most significant causes of blindness worldwide.
Some eye care practitioners historically have believed that myopia is a genetic anomaly, whereas others have concluded that myopia is environmentally induced. However, human and animal studies conducted over the past four decades suggest that development of myopia is controlled by both environmental and genetic factors.
With several myopia treatment options now available off-label that have demonstrated efficacy, optometrists have a professional responsibility to discuss myopia management options with all parents of children at risk for progressive myopia.
During discussions with optometric and ophthalmologic colleagues, I will occasionally hear, “There is not enough evidence for me to treat children who demonstrate progressive myopia.”
The debate on the role of ‘nature versus nurture’ in the aetiology of myopia has been ongoing for many decades but the exact role of genetic versus environmental components remains far from settled.
Myopia is the most common ocular abnormality in the world, yet many patients and parents do not understand the significance of myopia and particularly high myopia to potential ocular health issues later in life.
It is becoming more and more imperative that eyecare providers take a more active role in the prevention of myopic progression. Just as sub-markets have developed in the U.S. health care industry (e.g., with orthodontics, an $11 billion market, and hearing aids, a $7 billion market), one should expect something similar with the myopia management market.
By Catherine Manthorp, Associate Editor Review of Optometry, January 2019 Myopia was previously thought to be a simple refractive condition correctable by glasses...
With treatment options available that have demonstrated efficacy, ECPs have a professional responsibility to discuss myopia management options with all parents of children at risk for progressive myopia.
Uncorrected myopia as well as high myopia resulting in complications such as myopic macular degeneration (MMD) can potentially result in lost productivity. Such lost productivity has significant economic impact, and an estimate of lost productivity due to myopia is vital for evidence based advocacy, policy making and patient care.