Entry for:Vice Chancellors Research Pitch Challenge
Myopia or shortsightedness is a condition (also called a refractive error) of the eye wherein the eye is unable to see distant objects clearly.
In recent years, the prevalence of myopia has increased dramatically all over the world and especially in the East Asian population. It is estimated that by the year 2050, nearly 50% of the world population will be myopic. The condition usually arises in school-aged children and continues to increase in severity throughout young adulthood. Distance vision is restored by the use of optical devices such as spectacles and contact lenses but as the underlying mechanism is not addressed, myopia progresses and thus necessitates regular change of optical correction. In addition to requiring corrective devices, high levels of myopia increase the risk of developing sight-threatening eye conditions and even blindness.
The rapid and disturbing increase in the prevalence rates of high myopia over the years’ warrants amending our current knowledge on traditional treatment approaches to myopia. The purpose of my research is to determine a model to predict the risk of progression of myopia for a given eye. In this study, I plan to assess and/or measure certain specific features (refractive error profile of the eye centrally and peripherally , retinal nerve layer thickness regionally ,dimensions of the nerve head of the eye and thickness of choroid in specific regions) of eyes from various refractive error groups to determine if differences exist between the various groups and if they can be used to determine an eye that is likely to be myopic. From the mathematical calculations performed between these measurement variables, a model will be developed that will assist in predicting the myopia. Predicting an eye that is likely to progress into myopia is of immense value in determining the type of correction and the appropriate myopia control strategy. To the best of my knowledge this study is first one of its kind that will enable to predict myopia using certain set of ocular variables.
2. Additional Details
World Health Organisation (WHO) has termed myopia to be a major public health issue that needs to be addressed. I feel my research can contribute immensely to this major cause that we all are fighting for.
I would like to take this opportunity to make this important issue known and discussed amongst a wider community. I would also like to request your support for my project and guidance on acquiring (partial) funding for the project.