Brien Holden Vision Institute and partners will pilot a myopia awareness week in New South Wales from 14 -18 May 2018.
Myopia is becoming a major public health crisis of our time and it’s already having an impact on young Australians, increasing their risk of developing sight-threatening conditions later in life.
By 2050 there will be almost five billion people with myopia globally.1 Nearly one billion will be in the high myopia category, placing them at significantly increased risk of potentially blinding conditions like cataract, glaucoma, retinal detachment, myopic maculopathy and macular degeneration.1
Studies around Sydney have shown a doubling of rates of myopia in recent decades.2,3 It is projected that 36 per cent of Australians will be myopic by 2020, increasing to 55 per cent by 2050.1
“Wearing glasses is not curing myopia, it’s simply relieving the symptoms,” said Professor Kovin Naidoo, CEO of Brien Holden Vision Institute, based at UNSW Sydney. “We need to change how people, parents and children in particular, perceive this condition, especially the potential consequences to vision later in life if early treatment is not received… As well as providing appropriate myopia management treatments, eye care practitioners have a key role in this education process.”
A Community Effort
Myopia Awareness Week is a partnership between Brien Holden Vision Institute, the Centre for Eye Health, Optometry NSW/ACT, and School of Optometry and Vision Science at University of New South Wales. The aims for this week are:
1. To raise awareness in the Australian community about myopia
2. To highlight the critical role optometrists play in treating myopia
3. To encourage optometrists to stay current with emerging trends in myopia control and management.