Introduction

Do you feel that the image in front of you is not as sharp? That you may have to frown a bit just to read the number of the approaching bus? You might just be suffering from myopia, and becoming part of the increasing number of cases worldwide. A visit to the optician to verify if you have myopia is highly suggested. Meanwhile, our website aims to be the one stop channel for all you need to know on this very topic - Myopia.


Myopia
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Myopia is an eye disorder that can have complications leading to blindness in the worse case possible. Referring to the figure shown below, myopia occurs when light rays focus on the front of the retina (A) instead of focusing directly on the retina (B). This is due to increased steepness in curvature of the cornea or if the eyeball is too long, resulting in the weakened ability of the eye to focus correctly.

Figure1.1
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The reason for the prevalence of myopia is due to:

  1. Genetic
  2. According to healthcare statistics in UK, there is a 33% chance of suffering myopia if one parent has it and 55% if both parents do. In Singapore military conscripts, there is also a strong association of myopia and parental history of myopia (odds ratio of 3.6 for myopia, 5.2 for high myopia), as well as sibling history of myopia (odds ratio of 8.6 for myopia, 14.4 for high myopia).

  3. Environment
  4. Environmental factors would include education level, housing type, and near work. Throughout the world, a strong co-relation between myopia prevalence and social environment factors like extensive near work and higher educational level have been identified. In Australia, a set of questionnaire data showed trends of myopia prevalence being lowest in the outer suburban region (6.9%) and highest in the inner urban city region (17.8%). After adjustments and assumptions applied, it was also deduced that myopia was significantly more prevalent among children living in apartment residences than other housing types.

Whether the listed factors have a direct relation with myopia, it is undeniable that myopia would be a hindrance to our daily lives if left untreated. It has been projected that a significant portion of the Singapore population could have high myopia (more than -6.0 D) in two decades time. High myopia is believed to potentially lead to complications like retinal detachment, cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. The high co-relation between myopia and the other eye disorders has become a growing health concern in countries with increasingly widespread myopia, with the possibility of the mass becoming partially blind. In view of this problem, the world has employed technology to address it. The current inventions involve spectacles, contact lenses and surgical methods.

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Quoted from the article: "Myopia in Singapore: Taking a public health approach"