Prof. dr hab. n. med. Andrzej Grzybowski
President of the Foundation for the Development of Ophthalmology "Ophthalmology 21"
Head of the Institute of Ophthalmic Scientific Research
Currently 1,6 billion people in the world are affected by myopia, including 900 million with high myopia (above 6 D); it has been predicted that by 2050 half of the world population will suffer from myopia. Highest increases in myopia prevalence are observed in Southeast Asia, where 90% of people are affected. In USA and Europe 40-50% of school graduates are short sighted, with the number being double what it was 50 years ago.
The spread of myopia, especially in children and youth forces us to take a deep look at the subject and try to find solutions for its prevention and treatment. Particularly because high myopia leads to complications such as glaucoma, cataracts, retinal detachment or maculopathy, which are associated with a greatly increased risk of vision loss. Scientific studies, in the last few years, have shown that it is possible to suppress myopia occurrence and progression with various methods.
These methods constitute an important therapeutic strategy allowing, at least some of the patients, to significantly reduce the magnitude of their final myopic refractive error, and thus decrease the risk of serious ophthalmic complications. Studying current scientific reports on this subject will constitute the educational layer of the programme.
On the other hand, current knowledge regarding prevention and treatment of myopia leaves a lot of questions without simple or straightforward answers. This requires a discussion between practitioners and clinicians and sharing of their own perspectives and experience on the subject. Plausibly, this could lead to original conclusions, editorials and scientific articles. This type of activities will form the cooperative part of the programme.
European Network for Myopia Control platform is prepared to support the interaction and collaboration between ophthalmologists interested and involved in myopia control in children. Every ophthalmologist can register to the platform and take part in discussion of clinical problems, including case reports presentations and sharing of the new scientific data.