Prof. SAW Seang-Me
Professor, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore
Head of Myopia Unit, Singapore Eye Research Institute
Presentation Topic - Strategies and Public Health Policies on Myopia
Myopia is fast becoming a global public health burden with its increasing prevalence, particularly in developed countries. Globally, the prevalence of myopia and high myopia (HM) is 28.3% and 4.0%, respectively, and these numbers are estimated to increase to 49.8% for myopia and 9.8% for HM by 2050. The burden of myopia is tremendous as adults with HM are more likely to develop pathologic myopia (PM) changes that can lead to blindness. Accordingly, preventive measures are necessary for each step of myopia progression toward vision loss.
Approaches to prevent myopia-related blindness should therefore attempt to
1. prevent or delay the onset of myopia among children - by increased outdoor time
2. stunt progression from low/mild myopia to HM – through optical (e.g. defocus incorporated soft contact, orthokeratology, and progressive-additional lenses) and pharmacological (e.g. low dose of atropine) interventions
3. stunt progression from HM to PM – through medical/surgical treatments (e.g. anti-vascular endothelial growth actor therapies, macula buckling and scleral crosslinking). Recent clinical trials aiming for retarding myopia progression have shown encouraging results.