Course 6

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Convenors: Earl Smith and Kovin Naidoo
GOC for Optometrists GOC for Dispensing Opticians GOC for Contact Lens Opticians


Myopia is already or fast emerging to be a public health issue in many parts of the world. The statistics are alarming. In East Asian countries such as China, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong nearly 50% of the population and over 70% of 17 year olds suffer from myopia.

Western countries such as USA have also registered a significant increase in myopia in the past two decades. As a consequence, the prevalence of high myopia and its associated complications such as myopic macular degeneration, cataract and glaucoma are also on the rise.

Alarmingly, recent data indicates that myopic macular degeneration is already or one of the leading causes of vision impairment and blindness in certain parts of the world. The need to manage the burden of myopia is urgent and is highlighted by the recommendations of the WHO working group on myopia who met in early 2015 to review the evidence of burden and provide recommendations on managing the condition.

Whilst both genetic and environmental factors are at play in the development and progression of myopia, evidence from work conducted using animal models demonstrates that eye growth is regulated by visual feedback and experience. Encouragingly, translation of information from these experiments and other cross-sectional human studies into optical and environmental strategies show that it is feasible to slow the progress of myopia. And it is increasingly becoming apparent that the approach to managing myopia needs to be multi-faceted and involving eye care practitioners, parents, schools, community, governments, councils and the myopic individuals themselves and as such innovative strategies are required to engage the community and society at large. In addition, the rising problem of vision impairment and blindness associated with myopia increases the need for a) specialist services to attend and manage the burden and b) to urgently find solutions to tackle the problem of myopic macular degeneration and associated complications.


    • Rising burden- current prevalence of myopia and high myopia and estimates for future prevalence to the year 2050
    • Role of environment: evidence that demonstrates that eye growth can be regulated and guided by visual feedback
    • Evidence for myopia control with optical, therapeutic and environmental approaches
    • Managing myopia in the community: Innovative approaches/strategies to tackle the burden
    • Rising burden of blindness and vision impairment associated with high myopia – current day management of the complications associated with high myopia and need for solutions.
    • WHO working group report on the burden and management of myopia
Kovin NaidooMyopia and High Myopia: the size of the problem
Earl SmithMyopigenesis- Evidence for visual experience regulating eye growth
Monica JongEvidence for myopia control- optical, pharmaceutical and environmental strategies
Nathan CongdonRole for community/school based interventions/strategies
Tien Yin WongInterventions/strategies to manage complications of high myopia
Silvio Paolo MarriottiWHO report on Myopia: Learnings and recommendations

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