Myopia is rapidly becoming a serious public health concern worldwide, yet new research1 shows that 65% of Australian parents (with children 0-17 years old) and 69% of New Zealand parents do not know what myopia is, and only 12% of parents in both countries recognise the health risk that their children might develop later in life from child myopia.
This is of significant concern given that high myopia (a refractive error of at least -5.00D in either eye) is also associated with comorbidities including retinal detachment, glaucoma, cataracts and myopic maculopathy.2 The risk of developing any of these conditions increases along with any increase in myopia.
It has been established that managing myopia in its early stages can slow its progression, reducing the potential risk of developing high myopia and its associated conditions later in life.3 This not only involves correcting the blurred distance vision associated with myopia but also employing treatments and strategies proven to slow the progression of myopia in children.
1 CooperVision Australia and New Zealand: Child Myopia in Australia and New Zealand – Consumer Perceptions Surveys. Conducted by YouGovGalaxy August/September 2018, between Wednesday 29 August and Monday 3 September 2018. The sample comprised 1,003 Australian parents and 500 New Zealand parents of children at home aged 0-18 years.
2 Holden B; Fricke T; Wilson D; Jong M; Naidoo K; Sankaridurg P; Wong T; Naduvilath T; Resnikoff S. Global prevalence of myopia and high myopia and temporal trends from 2000 through 2050. American Academy of Ophthalmology 2016
3 Sankaridurg PR, Holden BA. Practical applications to modify and control the development of ametropia. Eye 2014; 28:134-141