In many countries, when we think about myopia we think about myopia control-what combination of glasses, contact lenses and atropine eye drops will slow the progression of myopia and prevent future vision loss from myopic complications. What we also need to be thinking about is those who have myopia and who do not have glasses to correct it. We need to think about the people that do not have access to eye care and cannot obtain glasses to help them see. When we are unable to see, we have trouble with our education, ability to work and social interaction.
The World Council of Optometry and Brien Holden Vision Institute are working together to bring awareness to myopia with Myopia Awareness Week, 13-19 May 2019. The WCO and BHVI seek to increase awareness about myopia and proper treatment.
In a recently published study by Dr. Naidoo et al, it was found that visual impairment from uncorrected myopia had an impact on the global economy of lost productivity of US$244 billion dollars. The study found that 538 million people suffer uncorrected myopia and an investment of US$20 billon could eliminate this problem globally. This funding would be investing in the training of eye care professionals and eye care infrastructure in countries that lack these resources. Naidoo KS, Fricke TR, Frick KD, Jong M, Naduvilath TJ, Resnikoff S, Sankaridurg P, Potential lost productivity resulting from the global burden of myopia: systematic review, meta-analysis and modelling. Ophthalmology. 2019 Mar;126(3):338-346. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2018.10.029. Epub 2018 Oct 17.
VOSH/International and VOSH Chapters are working towards developing and supporting optometry and providing eye care and glasses around the world.
To read more about Myopia Awareness Week and the impact of global myopia, visit the websites of World Council of Optometry and Brien Holden Vision Institute:
Tracy Matchinski, OD, FAAO, FVI