Sign our petition to get the government and NHS to recognise myopia as an ocular disease/serious ocular condition and fund myopia management for children.

In 2015, the World Health Organisation declared that myopia (short-sightedness) is now at epidemic levels. Myopia has also been recognised as one of the most significant risks to long term eye health and well-being and will affect half of the world's population by 2050. However, myopia control can decrease the progression of nearsightedness by 50% in children, with myopia management strategies shown to significantly help reduce the risk to their vision in the future, but it is not freely available.

We must see a change in government and NHS policy to eye care for children and young people to ensure that all children are regularly screened for myopia. It is also imperative that children receive equal and free access to effective means of myopia management. Their future eyesight is at significant risk if nothing is done fast.

Many of the causes of myopia increasing are due to changes in people's lifestyles, particularly in relation to the use of smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs. Also, reduced time spent outdoors during childhood and less access to natural light has been clinically proven to increase the risk of developing myopia and, more importantly, high myopia.

Uncorrected myopia is the largest cause of treatable visual impairment globally, but it is also becoming one of the most significant causes of ocular complications that lead to sight impairment and severe sight impairment (blindness) globally. Recent studies have shown that the rates of progression and incidence of the condition are increasing at rates higher than previously thought, with parts of South East Asia reporting myopia to be a larger cause of blindness than glaucoma, cataract or macular degeneration, for example.

What our petition aims to achieve 

  • Myopia is recognised as an ocular disease by the NHS

  • To provide a myopia screening service across UK schools from the age of 4-5 to include all children and all areas

  • To provide a new GOS (general ophthalmic services) provision for children to pay a higher eye examination fee to take account of myopia screening and management, including a three-month recall for those with progressive myopia and undergoing treatment

  • To provide a new tier of spectacle/contact lens vouchers for myopia management – to ensure that all children receive free access to myopia management solutions

  •  Free eye examinations to those with high myopia of any age

  •  Free eye examinations for all myopes up to the age of 25

  • To provide greater provision for vouchers for myopia management optical appliances for those over 25 on limited means

  • The government to set up a task force to listen to the optical/ophthalmic bodies and align with the WCO stance
    Secondary care NHS to include myopia management in eye departments

  • The government to invest in a large scale public health campaign to reduce the potential risk to our children’s and grandchildren’s long term sight health

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