Treatment and prevention of myopia are limited by a lack of understanding of its underlying mechanisms. However, a recent animal study has uncovered key signaling pathways that may be responsible for the retinal responses to defocus and are therefore potential therapeutic targets.
Myopia, as a widespread health concern, is old news.
After being listed as one of the five health concerns by the World Health Organization,1,2 and with an estimate that around 4.8 million people will have myopia in 2050,3 just 30 years away, progressive myopia is high on the radar of optometry and ophthalmology.
Termed a disease, and even an epidemic, it is of no dispute that myopia is an area of high importance on a national as well as international level. Progressive eye growth may lead to visual impairment from myopic maculopathy, myopic macular degeneration, retinal tears and detachments, chorioretinal atrophy, and glaucoma.4-7
Whether the statistics are correct in that we are facing a pending health crisis or not, myopia warrants careful attention to determine proper evidence-based approaches to management.
Refractive and pharma options
There are two clinical approaches to retard progression of myopia: refractive and pharmaceutical.
Refractive modalities include:
• Multifocal soft contact lenses of center-distance design
• Progressive or bifocal spectacles
Effectivity of these designs is hypothesized to be mostly secondary to inducing peripheral myopic—rather than hyperopic—defocus, in addition to decreasing accommodative lag.8
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