Myopia, also known as short-sightedness or near-sightedness, is a very common condition that typically starts in childhood. Severe forms of myopia (pathologic myopia) are associated with a risk of other associated ophthalmic problems. This disorder affects all populations and is reaching epidemic proportions in East Asia, although there are differences in prevalence between countries. Myopia is caused by both environmental and genetic risk factors. A range of myopia management and control strategies are available that can treat this condition, but it is clear that understanding the factors involved in delaying myopia onset and slowing its progression will be key to reducing the rapid rise in its global prevalence. To achieve this goal, improved data collection using wearable technology, in combination with collection and assessment of data on demographic, genetic and environmental risk factors and with artificial intelligence are needed. Improved public health strategies focusing on early detection or prevention combined with additional effective therapeutic interventions to limit myopia progression are also needed.
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The authors thank Ian Morgan (Australian National University) for his tremendous help on preparing this manuscript. This study was supported by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) through project grant 1034329 and a Senior Research Fellowship (1138585 to P.N.B.); the National Medical Research Council (NRMC) Grant NMRC/CIRG/1446/2017 and A*STAR World Without Disease (Grant JRBMRR 151701) (S.-M.S. and C.L.); Clinician Scientist Award (Senior; NMRC/CSA-SI/0009/2016) (E.L.L.) and Transition Award (MOH-TA19may-0002) (R.M.); National Institutes of Health Grant EY-03611 and funds from the Brien Holden Vision Institute (E.L.S.); grants 81800860, 81422007 and 81371047 from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (X.Z.); Fight for Sight and Welsh Government Project Grant (Ref: 24WG201) (J.A.G.); and Fundamental Research Funds of the State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, the Research Accelerator Program at the University of Melbourne and the CERA Foundation in Australia (M.H.).
The authors declare no competing interests.
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- Form deprivation myopia
Placing a diffusing filter in front of the eye.
- Myopic defocus
Image formed in front of retinal plane.
- Axial length
The distance from the anterior surface of the cornea to the retina.
Ability to focus on distant objects.
The development of the eye towards emmetropia, wherein the focus of distant objects is on the retina when the lens is in a relaxed state.
The ability of the eye to change its focus from near to far.
- Hyperopic defocus
Blur resulting from the image formed behind the retinal plane.
A highly vascularized layer between the sclera and the retina.
Paralysis of the ciliary muscles of the eye.
The interior surface of the back of the eye, comprising the retina, choroid and sclera.
- Indirect ophthalmoscopy
Examination to provide a wide view of the back of the eye using a beam of light and a hand-held lens.
Protrusion of a limited area of the posterior sclera.
- Choroidal neovascularization
The formation of new blood vessels in the choroid of the eye.
- Orthokeratology lenses
Rigid, gas-permeable lenses to flatten corneal curvature during overnight wear.
Sensitivity to light.
- Excimer or femtosecond laser
A laser emitting concentrated light in the ultraviolet region of the spectrum.
- Phakic intraocular lens
(PIOL). Silicon or plastic lenses inserted into a person’s eye to restore vision but leaves the eye’s natural lens intact.
- Corneal ectasia
Abnormal change in shape of the cornea.
A granular scarring of the corneal stroma due to inflammation.
- Corneal lenticule tissue
A small piece of corneal or synthetic material with a precise shape and thickness implanted into the cornea in order to change the corneal curvature.
- Infective endophthalmitis
Infection of the interior of the eye.
- Ocular biometry
Measurement of specific features that are common to the eye.
- Rasch analysis
A psychometric model for analysing categorical data, typically in the form of a questionnaire.
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Baird, P.N., Saw, SM., Lanca, C. et al. Myopia. Nat Rev Dis Primers 6, 99 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41572-020-00231-4
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