Myopia, an underrated global challenge to vision: Where the current data takes us on myopia control

B. Holden, P. Sankaridurg, E. Smith, T. Aller, M. Jong, M. He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Citations (Scopus)


Myopia is the most frequent cause of distance impairment in the world and is creating an alarming global epidemic with deleterious ramifications for the quality of life and economic health of individuals and nations as a whole. In addition to being immediately disadvantageous, myopia increases the risk of serious disorders such as myopic macular degeneration, retinal detachment, glaucoma, and cataract and is a leading cause of visual impairment and blindness across many countries. The reduction in age of onset of myopia is of great concern since the earlier the onset, the more myopic the individual will become, with all the attendant increased risks of accompanying debilitating eye conditions. The economic burden is great; both in consequences of uncorrected refractive error and also in the provision of devices for correcting visual acuity. Earlier onset of myopia increases the lifetime economic burden related to loss of productivity and independence, leading to a reduced quality of life. Recent data suggest addressing accommodation per se has little direct amelioration of myopia progression. Pharmacological interventions that effect changes in the sclera show promising efficacy, whereas optical interventions based on a myopic shift in the retinal image are proving to effect up to 55% reduction in the rate of progression of myopia. Early contact lens and spectacle interventions that reduce the rate of progression of myopia are able to significantly reduce the burden of myopia. These non-pharmacological interventions show profound promise in reducing the overall associated morbidity of myopia. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-146
Number of pages5
JournalTransactions of the Ophthalmological Societies of the United Kingdom
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


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