- 36% of Australians will be myopic (short- or near-sighted) in 2020
- By 2050, 55% of the country will have the condition
- High levels of myopia increase the risk of potentially blinding conditions later in life
- Standard glasses do not prevent the condition from progressing
- Myopia Awareness Week 14-18 May
Sydney, Australia, 10 May 2018: Myopia (short- or near-sightedness) is becoming a major public health crisis of our time and it’s already having an impact on young Australians, increasing their risk of developing sight-threatening conditions later in life.
By 2050 there will be almost 5 billion people with myopia globally.1 Nearly 1 billion will be in the high myopia category, placing them at significantly increased risk of potentially blinding conditions like cataract, glaucoma, retinal detachment, myopic maculopathy and macular degeneration.1
This alarming increase in prevalence is happening right here. Studies around Sydney have shown a doubling of rates of myopia in recent decades.2,3 It is projected that 36% of Australians will be myopic by 2020, increasing to 55% by 2050.1
“Wearing glasses is not curing myopia, it’s simply relieving the symptoms,” says Professor Kovin Naidoo, CEO of Brien Holden Vision Institute, based at UNSW Sydney. “We need to change how people, parents and children in particular, perceive this condition, especially the potential consequences to vision later in life if early treatment is not received,” he adds. “As well as providing appropriate myopia management treatments, eye care practitioners have a key role in this education process.”
Myopia Awareness Week is being piloted in New South Wales from 14 -18 May 2018.
Watch the preview video (1 min) here: https://myopia-awareness.com.au/myopia-docu-series/public-awareness.html
Myopia Awareness Week is a partnership between Brien Holden Vision Institute, the Centre for Eye Health, Optometry NSW/ACT, and School of Optometry and Vision Science at University of New South Wales. 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.
– ENDS –
Shane Parker, Communications and Design Manager, Brien Holden Vision Institute – 0409 832 706
Michael Yapp, Chief Staff Optometrist, Centre for Eye Health – (02) 8115 0732 or 0413 703 553
Audrey Molloy, Professional Services, Optometry NSW/ACT – (02) 9712 2199 (Wed & Thurs)
Kathleen Watt, Director, UNSW Optometry Clinic – 0450 880 852
1. Holden et al., Ophthalmology, May 2016, 123.
2. French et al., Ophthalmology, 2013, 120.
3. Attebo et al., Ophthalmology, 1999, 106.