The effect of spatially-related environmental risk factors in visual scenes on myopia: Clinical and Experimental Optometry

Kai Yip Choi, Sonia Seen-Hang Chan, Henry Ho-Lung Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Myopia, the most common refractive error, is estimated to affect over two billion people worldwide, especially children from East Asian regions. Children with early onset myopia have an increased risk of developing sight threatening complications in later life. In addition to the contribution of genetic factors, of which expression is controversially suggested to be subject to environmental regulation, various environmental factors, such as near-work, outdoor, and living environment, have also been determined to play significant roles in the development of refractive error, especially juvenile myopia. Cues from daily visual scenes, including lighting, spatial frequency, and optical defocus over the field of visual stimuli, are suggested to influence emmetropisation, thereby affecting myopia development and progression. These risk factors in visual scenes of the everyday life may explain the relationship between urbanicity and myopia prevalence. This review first summarises the previously reported associations between myopia development and everyday-life environments, including schooling, urban settings, and outdoors. Then, there is a discussion of the mechanisms hypothesised in the literature about the cues from different visual scenes of urbanicity in relation to myopia development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalThe Australasian journal of optometry
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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