The myopia epidemic that will affect half the world’s population within thirty years is one of the biggest challenges for the planning of eye care services. Not least, because an estimated one billion people will suffer from high myopia and have a high probability of developing serious eye conditions and potentially losing their sight.
Essilor organised the first National Myopia Management Convention in Singapore on 12-13 June, in partnership with the Singapore Optometric Association to bring 600 optometrists to the forefront of myopia management. Speakers from Australia, China and Taiwan shared insights and best practices in managing their patients’ myopia progression with different solutions.
In his opening address, Eric Bernard, President, Essilor AMERA and Instruments, made a call to action to health and eye care professionals, governments and non-government organizations to join Essilor in the fight against the myopia epidemic and to raise awareness of myopia and its consequences. This is one of many activities in Essilor’s plan to address myopia in Singapore.
In Singapore, about 65% of children are myopic when they reach 12 years old, increasing to 80% by the time they become young adults at 18. Myopia is not just a vision impairment or inconvenience that affects school learning, sport or leisure pursuits. High myopia increases the risks of degenerative conditions such as retinal detachment, early cataract development, macular degeneration and glaucoma. Myopic macular degeneration is becoming a serious issue in East Asia, and has been identified as one of the three leading causes of blindness.
The science of myopia is still young. This convention in Singapore is an example of how Essilor works with scientific partners, health and vision care professionals to improve understanding and innovate with a comprehensive range of solutions for children, teens and adults to manage the evolution of myopia over their lifetime. Essilor is also one of the platinum sponsors of the Global Orthokeratology and Myopia Control Conference in Kuala Lumpur organised by Association of Malaysian Optometrists from 27-28 June.
Essilor has been working on myopia control technologies since 2005 and in 2013 established a joint research center with Wenzhou Medical University in China focusing on myopia in children.
Half the world's population will be short-sighted (myopic) by 2050, with up to 1 billion people at a significantly increased risk of blindness if current trends continue. It’s a major public health issue that will require global attention on eye care prevention and treatment to prevent people becoming highly myopic in the future.
Essilor joined more than 300 world experts for the 15th International Myopia Conference held 24-27 September in Wenzhou, China, to explore the causes, prevention and control of myopia.