The Sydney Myopia Study: Prevalence and risk factors for myopia and other eye conditions in school-age children. [ 2003 - 2005 ]

Also known as: The Sydney Myopia Study

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: Prof Paul Mitchell (Principal investigator) ,  Prof Ian Morgan Prof Kathryn Rose Prof Wayne Smith

Brief description This study aims to establish the exact extent of increasing levels of myopia in young Australians and the frequency of other treatable eye conditions such as reduced vision in one eye (amblyopia) and squint. We also aim to exam in detail, risk factors associated with myopia, such as parental myopia, living conditions and educational pressures, particularly those associated with reading and other forms of near-work. Increased understanding of factors leading to increasing myopia prevalence may enable design of preventive strategies that could limit future increases in the ocurrence of myopia in Australia. The prevalence of myopia is increasing world-wide. In many Asian countries, it has reached epidemic proportions (80-90%) in young, educated people. In many other countries close to half the younger population is now short-sighted. Data from the Blue Mountains Eye Study and Melbourne Visual Impairment Project in older persons have suggested that the prevalence of myopia is increasing in Australia. Comparison with our recent pilot study on school children indicates that myopia prevalence has increased 2 to 3-fold in recent decades. Myopia or short-sightedness is now one of the five major causes of blindness. In countries where the prevalence of myopia is high, it is one of the top three. Myopia requires expensive optical and-or surgical correction of the refractive error for visual functioning. Unfortunately correction does not prevent the development of visual impairment and blindness from complications of myopia. Late in life, even low myopia is associated with an increased risk of both glaucoma and cataract. Myopia therefore imposes additional major health costs because of the burden of eye disease and the support costs for people affected by myopia-associated low vision or blindness. With increasing prevalence, the health care costs of myopia are likely to continue to rise in Australia.

Funding Amount $AUD 596,375.00

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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