Childhood Myopia, also known as short-sightedness, occurs when the eyeball becomes too long (long axial length). As a result, distant images fall in front of the retina while near images are focused on the retina. The longer the axial length, the more severe the myopia. Development and progression of myopia is irreversible.
Globally, myopia rates are increasing. It is estimated that approximately 30% of the world are myopic, and this will increase to 50% by 2050. In Singapore, about 10% of Primary 1 students, 60% of Primary 6 students and 80% of 18-year olds are myopic. By 2030, it is expected that 80% of our population will be myopic with 20% being highly myopic (i.e. with myopia greater than -5D).
Myopia is a concern as it increases the risk of future blinding eye diseases later in life, such as:
1. Early onset cataracts2. Glaucoma or optic neuropathy3. Retinal tears and detachment4. Myopic maculopathy
The last three conditions are associated with irrecoverable visual loss/ blindness.
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