Myopia is a global health issue affecting almost 30% of the world’s population. By 2050, the prevalence is predicted to rise to 50% globally, 10% of which will be at highly myopic levels (worse than –5.00 D). There is a need to prevent and manage myopia using evidence-based interventions available today (see IMI clinical summary on Interventions) given the impact of myopia on individuals and society on the following areas listed below:
- Risk of vision impairment: Uncorrected myopia is a leading cause of avoidable vision impairment, and ocular complications that are sight threatening, particularly associated with high myopia e.g. myopic macular degeneration.
- Education: In children, poor vision or uncorrected vision can impact scholastic performance and result in psychosocial stress. Negative attitudes to spectacle wear may also affect psychosocial well-being.
- Quality of Life (QOL): Reduced QOL has been demonstrated for myopia and myopia-related complications. QOL is impacted whether myopia is corrected or uncorrected and varies according to the type of corrective modality worn.
- Economic impact: Given the progressive nature of myopia, direct costs (expenditure on diagnosis, correction/management, transport and treatment of morbidity) and lost productivity costs are substantial.
- Potential lost productivity due to myopia in 2015 was estimated at US$250 billion (US$244 billion from uncorrected refractive error and US$6 billion from myopic macular degeneration). These costs are expected to rise significantly in the future.
- Higher magnitudes of myopia result in greater costs later in life due to complications that require more costly interventions and leading to greater losses in productivity.
Figure 1. Quality of life issues in myopia specific patient reported outcome measures.
A full list of the IMI taskforce members and the complete IMI white papers can be found at https://myopiainstitute.org/. The publication and translation costs of the clinical summary was supported by donations from the Brien Holden Vision Institute, Carl Zeiss Vision, CooperVision, Essilor, Alcon and Oculus.
Sankaridurg P, Tahhan N, Kandel H, et al. IMI impact of myopia. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2021;62(5):2.
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