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Invited Commentary
May 30, 2019

The Debate Surrounding the Pathogenesis of Myopia

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 2Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 3Ophthalmic Genetics and Visual Function Branch, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online May 30, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2019.1487

In this issue of JAMA Ophthalmology, Bez and colleagues1 report 9.3-fold increased odds of having myopia among a group of adolescent male students from an ultra-Orthodox community exposed to intense near-work activities (those done at a short working distance) from a very young age compared with age-matched secular adolescent male students without this exposure. The magnitude of the reported association in this study is enormous. The authors had great insight to study unique cultural differences that may be associated with the increasing rates and pathogenesis of myopia. Eye care professionals and policy makers should not underestimate the societal implications of the increasing rates of myopia. Myopia has serious health implications. Patients with myopia are more likely to have retinal detachments, macular degeneration, and complications with ocular surgery. Even in the absence of these complications, myopia can adversely affect quality of life.

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