New York: An estimated 9.6 million adults in the US are highly myopic, or severely nearsighted, finds a new study. The findings showed that, nearly 820,000 are suffering from progressive high myopia — a degenerative form of myopia. Further, women appeared to be at greater risk for complications of high myopia. An estimated 527,000 women have that condition compared to 292,000 men.
The prevalence rate for progressive high myopia was 0.42 per cent in women compared to 0.25 per cent in men. In addition, more than 41,000 suffer a complication called myopic choroidal neovascularisation — a condition characterised by the growth of new, unstable blood vessels beneath the retina — that could cause long-term vision loss.
The prevalence rate for women was found double that of men. “Prior to this study, we really had no idea how many people had myopic choroidal neovascularisation, which can be devastating,” said lead author Jeffrey Willis from the University of California, Davis. “I think the findings emphasise the growing issue of nearsightedness and the burden it creates in terms of medical complications that cannot be fixed with just glasses or contacts,” Willis added.
The research, published online in the journal Ophthalmology, is the first large-scale study ever done to calculate the real-world prevalence of myopic choroidal neovascularisation in the US.