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Commonly Held Beliefs About Myopia That Lack a Robust Evidence Base

Brennan, Noel A. MSc.Optom, Ph.D.; Cheng, Xu M.D., Ph.D.

doi: 10.1097/ICL.0000000000000566
Review Article: PDF Only

Purpose: To subject a number of commonly held beliefs or areas of confusion in the myopia field to scientific scrutiny.

Method: A collection of statements about myopia are provided with references to demonstrate that a section of the research or clinical community supports the statement. The topics under discussion are reviewed critically with reference to the literature.

Results: The following statements are considered to lack sufficient supporting data to be considered as evidence-based: low-dose (0.01%) atropine slows myopia progression; relative peripheral hyperopia leads to myopia development and progression in children; undercorrection slows myopia progression; percentage treatment effect remains constant with continuing treatment; percentage treatment effect applies across the progression range; hand-held digital devices contribute to the myopia epidemic; more time outdoors slows myopia progression; the impact of outdoor activity on myopia incidence is due to daylight; subclassifications for myopia are effective; and myopia is a condition with a negative dioptric number.

Conclusion: There are many hypotheses proposed to explain phenomena in the myopia field. Caution should be exercised in adopting conjecture until a robust evidence base is provided in support.

R&D, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc, Jacksonville, FL.

Address correspondence to Noel Brennan, Ph.D., Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., R&D, 7500 Centurion Pkwy, Jacksonville, FL 32082; e-mail:

The authors are employees of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.

Accepted October 05, 2018

© 2019 Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists, Inc.