Module 1

The myopia epidemic

At the end of this module, you should be able to:

  • Describe the projected increase of myopia
  • Identify the global impact of increasing myopia
  • Recognize the serious ocular health issues associated with high myopia
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The Future of Myopia (1/4)

Myopia is more than a refractive condition. It’s a global epidemic that is having a serious impact on today’s children around the world. The prevalence of myopia has nearly doubled since the 1970s, and it is expected to become the leading cause of permanent blindness worldwide (Holden 2016).

Based on historical prevalence data and future projections, there will be:

  • 5 billion people with myopia by 2050, or 50% of the world’s population (Holden 2016)
  • Almost 1 billion high myopes (> -6.00D) by 2050 (Holden 2016)

The Impact of Myopia (2/4)

With this increase in myopia and high myopia, cost of care is likely to increase significantly. It is estimated that uncorrected distance refractive error results in a global loss of productivity of US $202 billion (WHO White Paper Impact of Myopia and High Myopia, 2016), which will increase as the rate of myopia rises. High myopes will bear a much higher cost of care due to the increased risk of more serious ocular health issues.

The Impact of High Myopia (3/4)

Research has shown that high myopes are more likely to develop serious ocular health issues, including:

  • 7.8x increase in retinal pathology (Holden, 2015)
  • 3.3x increase in cataract (for myopia >6.00D) (Yang, 2015)
  • 14.4x increase in glaucoma (for myopia >8.00D) (WHO White Paper Impact of Myopia and High Myopia, 2016)

Summary (4/4)

In this module, we discussed:

  • Myopia is projected to affect 5 billion people by 2050, or 50% of the world’s population
  • This global increase in myopia will raise the costs of care, particularly for high myopes
  • High myopia increases the risk of serious ocular health issues, including retinal pathology, cataract, and glaucoma
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