Myopia management in the Netherlands

Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2020 Mar;40(2):230-240. doi: 10.1111/opo.12676.


Purpose: A trend that myopia is becoming gradually more common is shown in studies worldwide. Highest frequencies have been found in East Asian urban populations (96.5%) but also a study in Europe shows that nearly half of the 25-29 year olds has myopia. With the increase in prevalence, high myopia, i.e. a spherical equivalent of -6 or more and an axial length of 26 mm or more is also on the rise. High myopia particularly carries a significant risk of ocular pathology related to the long axial length. This highlights the need for myopia management in children with progressive myopia, in particular progression to high myopia.

Recent findings: During the last decade, many intervention studies for myopia progression have emerged. Although lifestyle adjustments are effective, pharmacological and optical interventions have shown the highest efficacy on reduction of eye growth. High concentration atropine (0.5%-1.0%) shows the most reduction in axial length progression, but has drawbacks of light sensitivity and loss of accommodation. Nevertheless, when these side effects are mitigated by multifocal photochromatic glasses, the long-term adherence to high dose atropine is high. Lower concentrations of atropine are less effective, but have less side effects. Studies on optical interventions have reported reduction of progression for Ortho-K and multifocal contact lenses, but are in need for replication in larger studies with longer duration.

Summary: The field of myopia management is rapidly evolving, and a position on the best approach for daily clinics is desirable. Over the last 10 years, our team of clinical researchers has developed a strategy which involves decision-making based on age, axial length, position on the axial length growth chart, progression rate, risk of high myopia, risk profile based on lifestyle and familial risk, side effects, and individual preference. This personalised approach ensures the most optimal long-term myopia control, and helps fight against visual impairment and blindness in the next generations of elderly.

Keywords: axial length; atropine; high myopia risk; myopic growth curves.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Contact Lenses*
  • Disease Management*
  • Disease Progression
  • Eyeglasses*
  • Humans
  • Myopia, Degenerative / epidemiology
  • Myopia, Degenerative / physiopathology
  • Myopia, Degenerative / therapy*
  • Netherlands
  • Prevalence
  • Refraction, Ocular / physiology*