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    The World Health Organization Estimates That Half of the World’s Population Could Be Myopic By 2050

    Myopia is a chronic, progressive and incurable disease, which is not solved with glasses alone; the most important factor is prevention

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    The World Health Organization (WHO) stated that in the middle of the 21st century 50% of the adult population will be myopic. The figure is expected to increase the prevalence of up to 10% of High Myopia ((≥ -6.00 diopters) with a 10-fold increased risk of developing retinal pathologies.

    Myopia is a chronic, progressive and incurable disease, which cannot be solved by glasses alone. The ophthalmologist specialist in Children‘s ophthalmology, Gabriela Rodríguez explains that the most important thing is prevention.

    The expert defines that an ophthalmologist is a doctor specialized in the care of the eyes and the visual system, both from a medical point of view and from a surgical point of view. The specialists are in charge of the prevention, diagnosis and necessary treatment, whether clinical and/or surgical, of ocular pathologies; They also participate in scientific research for prevention and possible cures of visual problems.

    “Understanding the development of myopia and applying methods to delay its onset or progression in childhood is one of the greatest challenges. In addition, it is the only tool to reverse the trend described”, points out this specialist.

    What about childhood myopia

    An eye is myopic when it is too long in relation to the focusing power of the cornea and the lens, for this reason it is called axial, without glasses, the sufferer experiences blurred vision when looking at distant objects. The higher the level of myopia, the shorter the distance of clear vision.

    Why does it occur?

    Genetics can determine susceptibility to myopia (age of onset, rate of progression, maximum refractive error). “It is known that having a myopic parent increases the risk by 23% and having both at 60%. The idea that it is the result of the interaction between genetic susceptibility and the environment (Epigenetics) is gaining more and more strength”, explains the expert.

    As it developed, the growing increase in the use of screens for work, the lack of natural light and fresh air influenced the prevalence in the modern world. The lack of sun, the change in diet towards a more Western diet rich in processed foods, the alteration of circadian rhythms (less hours of sleep or alteration in schedules) could also have an influence. Decreased exposure to outdoor light appears to be a major factor in the rising rates of myopia in children around the world.

    The best-studied factor is the reduced permanence in the open air when populations become urbanized. This is explained because dopamine secretion is stimulated by natural light. In addition, it is responsible for inhibiting axial elongation, as well as the increase in nitric oxide that prevents the eye from elongating.

    Do nutrients influence myopia?

    As detailed by the expert, certain nutritional factors could influence eye growth. Klaus Trier in Denmark has approved the use of a caffeine derivative to stop the progression of myopia.

    Another recent work cited shows the decrease of experimental myopia in mice fed omega-3 oils. The experiment supports the inflammatory origin of myopia due to dietary deficiency of essential fatty acids. “A randomized trial also showed that the Croxetine supplement, a plant derivative (saffron), could slow down the progression of myopia,” he adds. Theoretically, the oxidative damage associated with myopic hypoxia may alter the neuromodulation produced by nitric oxide and dopamine in ocular growth (progression of myopia).

    “It is the task of the ophthalmologist to carry out the appropriate controls, under pupillary dilation to establish the appropriate treatments, to prevent the development of myopia”, concludes the expert.

    Resonance Costa Rica

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