Myopia, also known as 'short-sightedness' or 'near-sightedness', causes people to have difficulty seeing distant objects clearly. It is estimated that half the world’s population will be myopic by 2050.1 Growing levels of high myopia are increasing the risks of serious eye conditions, which may lead to permanent blindness.
The onset of myopia at an early age brings with it the likelihood of life-long eye care, there is a significantly increased risk of serious ocular health problems with high myopia, which can lead to vision loss and blindness. It is projected that almost 1 billion people will have high myopia by 2050.1
Brien Holden Vision Institute is conducting a suite of projects in the area of myopia, including: design and testing of spectacles and contact lenses that effectively slow the progression of myopia; collaborating on design and assessment of community interventions in clinical trials to control myopia; furthering our understanding of the mechanisms related to onset and progression of myopia; and developing tools to aid eye care practitioners in myopia management.
We are using our research platforms, collaboration networks and market insights to develop a range of tools such as, for example, clinical e-learning modules to help eye care practitioners identify candidates at risk, and empower them with the skills to better manage progressive myopia for patients.
These findings gave rise to the hypothesis, and key intellectual property, that myopia progression can be reduced through controlling the position of both central and peripheral retinal image points. Thus, correcting lenses can be designed that control myopic progression by changing and/or manipulating the retinal image position and quality at the retina.
To confirm the hypothesis that peripheral refraction plays a role in the development of myopia, the Brien Holden Vision Institute has developed an instrument that can rapidly and reliably measure peripheral refraction in the horizontal and vertical meridians. This ‘EyeMapper’ is being used to collect large sets of data from children in our myopia trials.
PublIc Health Strategies
This is largely due to a lack of facilities, infrastructure and the equipment necessary to provide eye care services, as well as a shortage of practitioners and other skilled personnel, especially in rural and remote areas in developing communities.
Our strategy to develop sustainable eye care services is based on the establishment of environments that enable trained eye care professional to provide much needed services locally. Find out more.
Our Children’s Vision is a call to action, initiated by Brien Holden Vision Institute and Vision For Life – Essilor, where partners are ensuring that effective, inclusive, sustainable eye health initiatives for children and adolescents are part of appropriate health programs and are integrated into regional, national and global education and health policies and practices for children. Find out more.
The meeting, which brought together myopia experts from each WHO region, was the culmination of a joint effort between the Brien Holden Vision Institute and the WHO, with the support of the former Australian Minister for Health, Mr Peter Dutton, and funded by the Vision Cooperative Research Centre.
In October, 2016, the WHO released a report "The impact of myopia and high myopia", based on the meeting. To read the report click here.
- Holden BA, Fricke TR, Wilson DA, Jong M, Naidoo KS, Sankaridurg P, Wong TY, Naduvilath TJ, Resnikoff S, Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050, Ophthalmology, May 2016 Volume 123, Issue 5, Pages 1036–1042.