Myopia Control: Why Each Diopter Matters

Optom Vis Sci. 2019 Jun;96(6):463-465. doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000001367.


Reducing the incidence or prevalence of any disease by 40% is of huge public health significance. Slowing myopia by 1 diopter may do just that for myopic maculopathy-the most common and serious sight-threatening complication of myopia. There is a growing interest in slowing the progression of myopia due to its increasing prevalence around the world, the sight-threatening consequences of higher levels of myopia, and the growing evidence-based literature supporting a variety of therapies for its control. We apply data from five large population-based studies of the prevalence of myopic maculopathy on 21,000 patients. We show that a 1-diopter increase in myopia is associated with a 67% increase in the prevalence of myopic maculopathy. Restated, slowing myopia by 1 diopter should reduce the likelihood of a patient developing myopic maculopathy by 40%. Furthermore, this treatment benefit accrues regardless of the level of myopia. Thus, while the overall risk of myopic maculopathy is higher in a -6-diopter myope than in a -3-diopter myope, slowing their myopic progression by 1 diopter during childhood should lower the risk by 40% in both.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Myopia / physiopathology
  • Myopia / prevention & control*
  • Prevalence
  • Retinal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Retinal Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Vision Disorders / physiopathology
  • Vision Disorders / prevention & control*