Myopia – A 21st Century Public Health Issue
Starting with a World Health Organization (WHO)–associated global scientific meeting on myopia, which was held at the Brien Holden Vision Institute in Sydney, Australia in 2015, subgroups of researchers within The International Myopia Institute formed to address the major aspects of myopia. These include the public health issues of myopia, sequelae of myopia, such as the increased risks of sight-threatening complications due to glaucoma, retinal detachment, and myopic macular degeneration, the classification of myopia, prevention of myopia and its complications, and evidence for treatments.
With myopia projected to affect 50% of the world population by 2050 and the fear that myopia could become the most common cause of irreversible blindness worldwide,1 The International Myopia Institute, thus, is a collaborative effort to bring together individuals from across all areas of myopia research.
As a first major step, The International Myopia Institute has edited in this special IOVS issue a series of white papers on defining and classifying myopia, potential interventions, clinical trials and instrumentation, industry guidelines and ethical considerations, clinical management guidelines, experimental models of emmetropization and myopia, and the genetics of myopia.
These articles, summarizing the current knowledge in the field and showing trends for future developments, may form a basis for further research, bridging gaps, and connecting people who so far had not intensively exchanged information and ideas.