By the year 2050, half the world's population will be nearsighted (myopic). This is relevant because higher amounts of myopia have the potential to cause vision impairment or vision loss in the form of macular degeneration, cataract, retinal detachment, and glaucoma.
In fact, over a 50 year period (from 2000 to 2050), the number of individuals with vision loss resulting from high myopia may increase 7x, making myopia the leading cause of permanent blindness worldwide.
While the prevalance of myopia continues to increase, the age of onset continues to decrease. In the United States, we see this as the prevalence of myopia has nearly doubled over the last two generations and myopia has grown among the younger population.
Genetics and Myopia (Parents & Their Children)
If both parents have myopia, there's a 1 in 2 chance of child developing myopia.
If one parent has myopia, there's a 1 in 3 chance of child developing myopia.
If neither parent has myopia, there's a 1 in 4 chance of child developing myopia.
What can be done?
1) Consider prescription eye drop, Atropine at bedtime (between 0.01%-0.05% concentration).
2) Orthokeratology (Ortho-k lenes) or CRT lenses.
3) For pre-myopes, encouraging children to spend more time outdoor (approximately 11 hours per week or a over an hour per day). This may prevent or delay the onset of myopia but not highly effective at slowing the progression.
4) Newly Introduced MiSight 1-Day Contact lens: MiSight is a daily, single-use contact lens that has been clinically proven and FDA-approved to slow the progression of myopia (nearsightedness) when initially prescribed for children between 8-12 years old.
1. Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050
2. Vitale S, Sperduto RD, Ferris FL. Increased Prevalence of Myopia in the United States Between 1971-1972 and 1999-2004. Arch Ophthalmol. 2009;127(12):1632–1639. doi:10.1001/archophthalmol.2009.303