Sydney, Australia, 11 July 2018: A five-fold increase in vision impairment due to myopic macular degeneration (MMD) is a likely consequence of the growing prevalence of myopia globally, according to a new study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.
It finds an estimated 10 million people were vision impaired due to MMD in 2015 (3.3 million of whom were blind), projected to reach 55.7 million (including 18.5 million who will be blind) by 2050. Conducted by researchers at Brien Holden Vision Institute and Singapore Eye Institute, the study is the first to estimate the global prevalence of MMD, one of several potentially blinding conditions associated with myopia.
The authors report that global myopia and high myopia prevalence is projected to continue to rise as a consequence of “trends in lifestyle, education and demographics.” Co-author, Prof Kovin Naidoo, CEO at Brien Holden Vision Institute, says that along with MMD there is likely to be an increase in the number of people with cataract, glaucoma and retinal pathologies such as tears and detachment.
“This analysis will complement estimates on these other conditions, and will be critical to planning and informing strategies for prevention and management as health care systems adapt to the dramatic increase in the number of people with vision impairment,” he says.
The study is an open-access publication and can be viewed freely here: http://bjo.bmj.com/content/early/2018/04/25/bjophthalmol-2017-311266#DC1
Fricke TR, Jong M, Naidoo KS, Sankaridurg P, Naduvilath TJ, Ho SM, Wong TY, Resnikoff S. Br J Ophthalmol Epub ahead of print: 21 May 2018. doi:10.1136/bjophthalmol-2017-311266