It must be acknowledged that myopia is still somewhat of a mystery despite the fact that its consequences have been known for a very long time. What factors provoke this condition? Can it be controlled? Can it be prevented? Is there a way to make it regress?
Myopic refractive error seems to be on the increase in all countries, but to varying degrees depending on the ethnic group, level of education, dietary patterns and many other factors that come to light on a regular basis. In Asia and China, for example, a high percentage of students - approximately 80% in several universities - have already been affected; in fact the problem is so severe that the government considers this problem a national scourge.
Over the last thirty years in the United States, the number of people with myopia has quite simply doubled (ARVO 2010, Association for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology).
Another problem is also gaining ground: progressive myopia among the younger population. This phenomenon has been observed for over sixty years and numerous solutions aimed at curbing it have been envisaged and tested. Unfortunately none of them to date has given full satisfaction. Many methods have been tried in an attempt to slow myopia progression: by under-correction with ophthalmic lenses in the nineteen-fifties and sixties; then through the use of bifocals in the nineteen-seventies and eighties; then from the nineteen-nineties up to the present day, with progressive lenses and contact lenses. All of these attempts proved mostly ineffective even though occasionally in specific cases, with strict patient selection, progressive lenses seem to marginally slow the progression of myopia.
Medications have also been tried, such as atropine, which has been tested a number of times over the last thirty years, but with fairly negative consequences. More recently, pirenzepine was tried, but testing had to be discontinued.
In this issue, Frank Schaeffel and Zhao Kanxing report on the current status of medical knowledge concerning myopia.
Jane Gwiazda and Kovin Naidoo share with us their studies conducted over several years in two very different regions: the United States and Africa.
Elodie Camaret and Bjorn Drobe tell us about a recent study conducted in Singapore on the use of progressive lenses by children.
In adulthood, three methods are commonly used to treat myopia. The most frequently used method worldwide is the ophthalmic lens, which has made considerable progress over the years in reducing weight and thickness and in attractiveness of design. Contact lenses are the second method, and here again there have been many improvements in the area of ease and comfort of use. Edward Bennett offers us a highly detailed account of the use of contact lenses. The third method, refractive surgery, corrects the problem more or less permanently. This last solution has seen enormous improvements since its introduction in the nineteen-eighties. A somewhat original surgical method which originated in Moscow is described by Doctors Elena Tarutta, Elena Iomdina and Elena Viadro; it seems to give encouraging results, which need to be confirmed however on larger numbers of patients. Jean-Jacques Saragoussi sums up the different technologies available for refractive surgery with all the moderation, reserve and seriousmindedness which characterize him.
In a quite different vein, Daniel Malacara discusses the famous “myopia” of the Hubble telescope and the measures undertaken to correct it.
In addition, Igor Viktorovic Zimin delivers the end of the Russian imperial family’s story.
In conclusion, we are extremely pleased to announce a major innovation: the official launch of our website www.pointsdevue.com. Our ultimate objective is not to repeat articles we have already printed, but to use the advantages of the video medium to offer filmed interviews of our authors in their laboratories. You will also find much information on our articles published in recent years. We hope that these improvements will strengthen your attachment and support for our magazine even further.
EDITORIAL N°63 by Marc ALEXANDRE
Medical scientific file / Refractive error of Myopia
Non-medical scientific file / Refractive error of Myopia
Non-Medical scientific file / Myopia compensation
Medical correction of Myopia