Myopia in focus

July 6, 2018 | By | Reply More

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THOUGH he does not specifically say there is a correlation between the advent of rapid technological advancement and the progression of myopia, Centre for Innovation & Technology Amera Essilor R&D Centre Singapore senior vision scientist Dr Damien Paille says, “We can see an increase (in myopia) from 10 to 15 years ago that might be linked to technology”.

Paille opened for the inaugural Global Orthokeratology and Myopia Control Conference (GOMCC), the first conference of its kind in Malaysia on myopia control. Sponsored by leading ophthalmic optics company Essilor and organised by the Association of Malaysian Optometrists (AMO), the two-day event covered myopia control extensively.

Briefly, myopia refers to shortsightedness. Its effects can be seen rapidly increasing in children. It is estimated by 2050, half the world’s population will be myopic.

Due to the relatively low public awareness of what is available to correct and control myopia, the probability of long-term risks such as complete loss of sight will see an exponential increase.

According to The International Vision Academy president and Essilor Education & Professional Services vice-president Dr John Ang, there are solutions to slow down the progress of myopia of which very few are aware of.

“We estimate that only 1% of the global population are using any myopia progression control solutions,” he informed.

In Malaysia, as in other parts of the world, there is an increasing number of children who are myopic by the time they reach the age of 12. Effects are not merely vision impairment or inconvenience in learning at school, playing sport or pursuing hobbies, it has more far-reaching consequences.

Severe myopia increases the risks of degenerative conditions such as retinal detachment, early cataract development, macular degeneration and glaucoma. These risks are not mitigated by refractive surgery.

While committed to supporting AMO in its mission to equip regional optometrists with essential skills and knowledge to address the increasing prevalence of myopia among the young, Essilor also shared its expertise on myopic management at workshops during the conference.

“As the world leader in the eye care industry, we believe it is the company’s responsibility to be the leading player in the management of myopia and offer a comprehensive range of solutions for children, teens and adults, to manage the evolution of myopia over their lifetime,” said Ang.

For more information on myopia including various optical solutions, visit www.essilor.com.my/

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