Myopia (often referred to as short-sightedness) occurs when the eye overgrows and elongates, and means that myopic individuals require optical correction to see clearly. Importantly, people with myopia are also at an increased risk of sight threatening conditions such as retinal detachment, glaucoma, cataracts and macular disease.
The prevalence of myopia has been increasing globally; currently the prevalence across the world is ~20-25% of the population, with an estimated rise to 50% by 2050. Although the prevalence is highest in those with South East Asian descent, the proportion of children aged 10-16 in the UK with myopia has more than doubled over the last 50 years.
Our research will aim to investigate the complex risk factors for developing myopia by looking at children in Bradford who become myopic as they mature into adulthood. We also hope to develop potential clinical applications, such as implementing new protocols that are designed to reduce the myopia burden. In turn, this will help reduce the number of people with myopia, improve the quality of life of those with the condition and relieve the economic burden on the NHS.