Half of the world’s population will have myopia by 2050. I’m sure by now you’ve read that statistic. Those numbers were supported by research conducted by the Brien Holden Vision Institute and recently published in Ophthalmology. An analysis of 145 studies found that by 2050 the number of myopic people worldwide is projected to be 4.76 billion and one in 10 will be at risk for permanent blindness.
While about 90% of the world’s vision-impaired are in developing nations, here at home in the United States, 10 to 12 million school-age children lack access to vision screening. Children need to use their eyes to learn””whether it’s social skills at home, social studies in the classroom or safety on the playground. The solution is simple for most children, a pair of eyeglasses. What’s difficult is the access to the eyecare some of these children need to determine if vision correction is needed.
Also, parents alone can’t determine if children are having problems with their sight. A child has no comparison to understand that blurriness is not how everyone sees the world. Therefore, children who have nothing to compare their blurry eyesight to do not share any concerns about not being able to see correctly. It often only becomes apparent in later years (whether through poor grades or having trouble seeing road signs when learning to drive an automobile). In that case, it may be too late””children’s eyes are usually developed by age 12.
Get children the care they need by the time they are teenagers, and chances are a condition can be prevented or treated. In fact, according to Our Children’s Vision, 80% of all vision impairment is preventable or curable. The organization, with the help of other organizations worldwide, is taking aim to help every child worldwide, in developed or developing nations, get access to eyecare and eyeglasses they need to succeed. Their goal: bring eye care to 50 million children by 2020.
Joanne Van Zuidam | Editor-In-Chief