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3. MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES, Ophthalmology
Myopia is becoming increasingly prevalent throughout the world. It is an overlooked but leading cause of blindness, particularly among the working aged population. Myopia is often considered benign because it is easily corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery. Traditionally myopia has been classified into physiological and pathological subtypes based on the degree of myopia present. Higher levels of myopia are associated with increased risk of pathological complications but it is important to note that there is no safe level of myopia. Even low levels of myopia increase the risk of retinal detachment and other ocular comorbidities which will be discussed in detail later. The most serious complication, myopic maculopathy, is the only leading cause of blindness without an established treatment and therefore leads to inevitable loss of vision in some myopes, even at a young age.
Aim: To highlight the current myopia epidemic and the sight threatening complications associated with it
Design: This is a comissioned review article. Data was gathered by performing a literature review, searching the PubMed database for recent articles regarding myopia.
Conclusions: Myopia is a potentially blinding disease. By identifying at risk individuals and intervening before they become myopic, eye care practitioners can prevent or delay spectacle use, reduce the risk of the myriad of myopic complications and thereby improve the patient’s quality of life and positively impact its socio-economic effects.
Bourke CM, Loughman J, Fltcroft DI, Loskutova E, O’Brien C. We can’t afford to turn a blind eye to myopia, QJM: An International Journal of Medicine, 2019;hcz076, https://doi.org/10.1093/qjmed/hcz076