Myopia Awareness Week

New South Wales 14 - 18 May 2018

A partnership between Brien Holden Vision Institute, Optometry Australia (NSW/ACT), and School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of NSW.

Our aims for this week are:
1
To raise awareness in the Australian community about myopia
2
To highlight the critical role optometrists play in treating myopia
3
To encourage optometrists to stay current with emerging trends in myopia control and management.

What does it mean for you?

You may have seen the stories in the news – myopia or short-sightedness is growing in prevalence across the world at an alarming rate.

So what does this mean exactly?  To you…and your family and friends?
We all need healthy eyes and vision to thrive in life and this is even more critical for children and their development. Approximately 80% of what a child learns is through their visual system.

What if the eye care decisions you make now influence your future sight? and that of your children?

"Its the environmental factors now that are really driving the increase in myopia around the world... especially in countries where a lot of children don't spend much time outside."

By 2050 there will be almost 5 billion myopic (short-sighted) people globally, with nearly 1 billion of them in the high myopia category and at significantly increased risk of potentially blinding conditions.1

People with high myopia are more likely to suffer from conditions such as cataract, glaucoma, retinal detachment, myopic maculopathy and macular degeneration, and are thus at a greater risk of permanent vision impairment and blindness.

Imagine a world where half the population, 5 billion, are short-sighted and one billion could potentially go blind?

Five facts you should know about myopia

1
Both environmental and genetic factors are thought to play a role in the development of myopia with some evidence for insufficient outdoor time.
2
Myopia is a progressive condition.
3
The progression of myopia can be controlled if the condition is detected early enough.
4
High myopia significantly increases the risk of potentially blinding conditions such as cataract, glaucoma, retinal detachment, myopic maculopathy and macular degeneration.
5
Glasses are not the only option for you or your child; ask your optometrist about other treatment options.

What the experts say about myopia?

Listen to the previews below and catch a glimpse of the reveal-all documentaries soon to be released in Myopia Awareness Week.

SooJin Nam

I can actually see signs of children who are heading towards becoming myopic before they are even myopic.

Dr Monica Jong

Wearing glasses is not curing myopia, its just relieving the symptoms, and I believe we have to start changing the mindset of the public, and eye care practitioners have a key role in doing this.

Dr Kate Gifford

The key message here, is we dont have to sit back and watch our children's vision get worse and worse every year. There are things we can do about it.

Professor Kathryn Rose

It's a hard thing for parents to accept often, is that its actually quite difficult to pick up when a child is not seeing at the normal level.
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"Everybody with myopia is at risk. What is the best thing we can do can do to avoid the risks of high myopia? We can do preventative health.

In my opinion, every seven year-old child when going to school, should take along a certificate from an optometrist, and say 'I'm ok, I can see'."

For more on our founder and how the myopia momemtum was instigated click the link below:
https://www.brienholdenvision.org/brien-holden/a-lifetime-of-vision.html

References

1. Holden BA, Fricke TR, Wilson DA, Jong M, Naidoo KS, Sankaridurg P, Wong TY, Naduvilath TJ, Resnikoff S, Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050, Ophthalmology, May 2016 Volume 123, Issue 5, Pages 1036–1042.
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