Myopia News Briefs

New Paper Presents Visual Impairment as Function of Age and Axial Length

Oct. 15, 2020

Johnson & Johnson Vision released a paper on “A Model of Visual Impairment as a Function of Age and Axial Length.” The paper models visual impairment from a published report that presented the cumulative risk of visual impairment as a function of age and axial length combined with life expectancy data for the U.S. population, allowing the benefits of myopia management to be explored. For example, restricting axial elongation in a patient destined to have an axial length of 26mm by just half a millimeter might help prevent one year of visual impairment.

Using existing comprehensive data on visual impairment as a function of axial length for 9,074 subjects (JAMA Ophthalmology 2016;134:1355-63), Noel Brennan, BOptom, MScOptom, PhD, FAAO, research fellow at Johnson & Johnson Vision, and Mark Bullimore, MCOptom, PhD, FAAO, adjunct professor at the University of Houston, presented a model of visual impairment as a function of age and axial length during Academy 2020 at Home by the American Academy of Optometry. Using the data, they determined that the cumulative risk of visual impairment increases exponentially with both age and axial length—on average 54 percent per millimeter of axial length. They concluded: “Our model shows the cumulative risk of visual impairment as a function of age and axial length. The model allows the benefits of myopia control to be explored, for example, slowing axial elongation such that a patient destined to have an axial length of 26 mm instead ends up at 25.5 mm should prevent one year of visual impairment.”

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