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How does visual acuity change over time in adults with high myopia?
  1. S M Steidl
  1. Correspondence to: Scott Steidl MD, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 419 West Redwood Street, Suite 486 Baltimore, MD 21201-1734, USA; ssteidl{at}som.umaryland.edu

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High myopes can expect to retain good vision during the working years of life

In the article by Shih and associates in this issue of BJO (p 546), the authors report on a retrospective study of visual outcomes in patients with high myopia seen at the National Taiwan University Hospital over a 10 year period. Clinical concern about management and severity of myopia is increasing, especially in Asia. In the United States, approximately 25% of people aged 12–54 years have myopia. In this report, the authors remind us that myopia is the fifth most frequent cause of impaired vision and the seventh most frequent cause of legal blindness.1 The magnitude of the public health impact of myopia can be understood when considering that people with myopic retinopathy are legally blind for an average of 17 lifetime years, compared to 5 lifetime years of blindness caused by both diabetes and age related macular degeneration, and 10 lifetime years from blindness caused by glaucoma.2 As people in developed countries age, we will surely see increasing levels of myopic blindness. This problem is heightened by the fact that myopia …

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