Myopia: An overview

1 October 2008
Volume 09, Issue 4

Hema Radhakrishnan looks at causes of myopia in relation to inheritance patterns and environmental factors.

Introduction

In routine clinical practice, ophthalmic professionals are often asked about the likelihood of a patient’s myopia progressing and the reason for myopia development. There are a plethora of factors which could affect myopia development and progression (Gilmartin 2004). Despite the thousands of scientific papers attempting to find the causative factor(s) for myopia development, the question of what exactly causes myopia remains unanswered. Most researchers generally agree that both genetic and environmental factors play a role in the development of myopia. Considerable attention has been focused on the possibility that increased amounts of close work associated with tasks such as reading may precipitate myopia in genetically susceptible individuals (Rosenfield & Gilmartin 1998). This review is aimed at providing some information on the current state of understanding of the aetiology and development of myopia. The review, however, does not cover in detail the optical (e.g. corneal reshaping) and pharmacological (e.g. pirenzipine) treatment modalities for myopia. 

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