Professor Padmaja Sankaridurg, BOptom, MIP, PhD
Brien Holden Vision Institute
It is undeniable – the myopia epidemic is well and truly here. In many East Asian countries; for example, Singapore, China, and Taiwan, nearly 80% of school leavers are myopic.1-4 But is it simply a problem of East Asia and a subject that the rest of the world can ignore? Although geographically disproportionate in prevalence, observations indicate that myopia is significant elsewhere too.
Furthermore, the statistics indicating future prevalence are troubling. It is estimated that nearly half the world will be myopic by the year 2050.7
For example, researchers from the National Eye Institute documented that myopia prevalence in the United States rose from 25% in the early 1970s to nearly 42% in 2004, an alarming 68% increase.5
The European Eye Epidemiology consortium estimated the prevalence of myopia to be approximately 31% (using the 2010 European standard population), in adults aged ≥25 to ≤ 90 years, but the prevalence was even higher in the younger participants at 47.2%.6