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Myopia - Key Stats & Facts

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Author: Jason Higginbotham
BSc (Hons) MCOptom Prof Cert Glau Prof Cert Med Ret Prof Cert LV FBDO MBCLA


1 in 3 people in the UK are affected by myopia 


2.6 billion people worldwide have myopia, or nearsightedness

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2050 half of the world's population will have myopia 

In the last 50 years the number of children with myopia in the UK has doubled 

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Singapore has the highest prevalence of myopia, with 80% of the population being myopic

 Myopia is the leading cause of distance refractive error

Current and projected 2050 myopia prevalence by region

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Source: Global prevalence of myopia and high myopia and temporal trends from 2000 through 2050. Ophthalmology. 2016;123(5):1036-1042.)


Some more facts about myopia


Research shows that myopia control can decrease the progression of nearsightedness by 50 percent.

Uncorrected distance refractive error has been estimated to result in a global loss of productivity of almost £200 billion 

Studies have found that children who spend more time outdoors have less chance of becoming short-sighted

Myopia can be hereditary, therefore, if both parents are myopic, the chances are higher that their children will also develop it

Myopia usually starts presenting itself in young children and progresses throughout the school-age years, usually stabilizing into the late teens



In 2015 the WHO (World Health Organisation) reported that Myopia had reached epidemic proportions in many countries. 

Levels of Myopia - Now and in 2050

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Source: WHO The Impact of Myopia and High Myopia

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