Myopia and other Vision Problems


Myopia and its implications

Look around you. How many people do you know who are wearing glasses, contact lens or have been through a refractive surgery? The above phenomenon mostly stems from the condition of Myopia. 

How about yourself? Do you suffer from Myopia? You are certainly not alone. Chances are, you’ve never given it a second thought, apart from the fact that you need vision correction. But what are the implications for now, and later in life? Read on to find out more.

What is Myopia?

Myopia is a refractive condition where light rays from objects in the distance are focused by the eye in front of the retina1 causing blurry vision. Near vision may remain clear.

Growing Global Epidemic

In 2010, an estimated 27% of the world’s population were myopic, and 2.8% of the world’s population had high myopia. These numbers are projected to rise to 52% and 10%, respectively, by 20502.

Prevalence among young adults is above 80% in many Asian regions, and 50% in the U.S. and parts of Europe3.

Anyone may be susceptible to Myopia

It is a misconception that Myopia only affects school children. While it is true that Myopia manifests most in school children, there are other forms of myopia such as Pathological Myopia and Adult-onset Myopia. For the former, it mainly affect children aged below 6 and causes the child to have visual impairment in their formative years. For the latter, it occurs due to accommodative anomalies.

Impacts of Myopia

It is a widely known fact that those who suffer from Myopia will have some visual impairment. However, there are more impacts that Myopia can cause which includes:

- Lower quality of life and psychosocial functioning in adolescents4.

- The global potential productivity loss associated with the burden of Visual Impairment in 2015 was estimated at US$244 billion from uncorrected myopia5.

- In Singapore, the lifetime per capita spending due to Myopia ranges from SGD$295 (0 years) to SGD$21,616 (80 years)6

-Incidence of eye conditions (Myopic Macular Degeneration, Retinal Detachment, etc) is greatest in individuals with high myopia7.

-There is also a correlation between degree of Myopia and the likelihood of eye conditions as seen in the table below8




Quick tips to manage the progression of Myopia:

To better enable you to deal and manage myopia, there are a few possible methods you can consider. Firstly, you can consider spending more time outdoors which means going out for walks and taking strolls. By doing so, you can relax your eyes. Next, should you need glasses, do go for optimal spectacle correction instead of undercorrection10. Also, your optometrist may prescribe bifocal or prismatic spectacles, where required11.

Remember that myopia can progress even in adulthood. With awareness and the right management, you can minimise the effects of Myopia on your vision and eye health.





3. Vitale 2008 and Williams papers (Extracted from the stance)

4. Wong H-B, Machin D, Tan S-B, Wong T-Y, Saw S-M. Visual Impairment and Its Impact on Health-related Quality of Life in Adolescents. Am J Ophthalmol. 2009;147:505–511.e1.

5. Naidoo KS, Fricke TR, Frick KD, Jong M, Naduvilath TJ, Resnikoff S, et al. Potential lost productivity resulting from the global burden of myopia: systematic review, meta-analysis and modelling. Ophthalmology. 2019;126:338–46.

6. Seang-Mei Saw, Yingfeng Zheng, Junxing Chay, Chen Wei Pan, Ecosse Lamoureux, Eric Finkelstein, Tien Wong; The Economic Cost of Myopia in Singapore. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):5711.

7. Williams, Katie, and Christopher Hammond. “High myopia and its risks.” Community eye health vol. 32,105 (2019): 5-6.

8. accessed 26 August 2020

9. French AN, Morgan IG, Mitchell P, Rose KA. Risk factors for in- cident myopia in Australian schoolchildren: the Sydney adoles- cent vascular and eye study. Ophthalmology. 2013;120:2100-8. 

10. Vasudevan B, Esposito C, Peterson C, Coronado C, Ciuffreda KJ. Under-correction of human myopia—is it myopigenic? A retro- spective analysis of clinical refraction data. J Optom. 2014;7: 147-52.

11. Cheng D, Woo GC, Drobe B, Schmid KL. Effect of bifocal and prismatic bifocal spectacles on myopia progression in children: three-year results of a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Ophthal- mol. 2014;Myo

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