Research findings could help prevent myopia leading to blindness

New studies into children with myopia could help practitioners prevent conditions which lead to blindness which are associated with high levels of the condition. 

By identifying those at risk of progressing to high levels of the myopia early, practitioners can recommend ways to slow progression and consequently avoid the development of conditions such as myopic macular degeneration, retinal detachment and glaucoma

Researcher Dr Monica Jong, science and business development manager at the Brien Holden Institute, said: “By identifying children who are at a greater risk of developing high myopia earlier in life, clinicians can suggest suitable preventable strategies such as reduced near work, more time spent outdoors and myopia control eye wear that may help reduce myopic progression.”
In the study, Dr Jong compared the characteristics of myopia progression in two groups of children. While the first group were highly myopic, the second were classed as low myopes. 
Investigating whether participants who had become highly myopic had faster procession rates between the ages of seven to 13, Dr Jong reported that those in the highly myopic group had higher levels of myopia at an earlier age and were progressing much faster than those in the low myopia group. 
Myopia affects 1.45 billion people across the world, it is estimated that this will rise to 2.5 billion by 2020. 
Dr Jong explained: “The results of this research means that, if an eye care practitioner sees a child with myopia that is progressing by more than one dioptre per year, it gives us the opportunity to do something about it.”
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