The silent epidemic that is myopia, more commonly known as nearsightedness, continues on its alarming rise.
The Atlantic cited a paper in the journal Ophthalmology which forecasts that 4.8 billion people, or almost half of the world population, will be nearsighted by year 2050. Of these 4.8 billion people, over 930 million will have high myopia, which means they are at risk of more complex and serious eye problems like cataract, glaucoma, macular degeneration and retinal detachment. The same paper noted that, in 2010, 2 billion people were nearsighted, with 277 million of them having high myopia.
In the U.S., the incidence of myopia has been steadily increasing. From the early 1970s to the early 2000s, the number of nearsighted people increased by 66 percent.
These figures are a cause for concern, especially among parents.
According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), myopia typically occurs first in young children and progresses as they settle into adulthood.
Children with myopic parents are said to be of higher risk. And of course, poor eye care habits—like too much screen time (and little to no outdoor time) and reading with insufficient lighting—can also aggravate the myopia progression.
In a post on the official website of Invisalens, a brand of orthokeratology solution, it was noted that nearsightedness, if left unchecked, can affect children’s long-term academic performance and overall level of confidence. Orthokeratology or ortho-k is a non-surgical myopia treatment option which involves the use of tailor-fit, gas-permeable overnight lenses. It is particularly ideal for children with myopia because it is non-invasive, reversible and relatively pain-free compared to laser surgery.
To help promote awareness against the potentially devastating long-term effects of myopia among children, Invisalens is spearheading a campaign to empower parents and children in the fight against myopia. Aptly called #ControlMyopiaNow, this online campaign aims to gather parents, experts and advocates for sharing of knowledge, experiences and resources to curb the alarming rise of myopia.
“Myopia is a serious threat to the vision of our future generation,” Invisalens creator Mark Page said. Page is also the chief optometrist for Arizona Vision. “We need to work together as a community to bring the numbers down and to prevent young children from growing up into this eye epidemic.”
Company Name: Invisalens
Contact Person: Gerald Corteza
Country: United States