Maureen Neitz, Ray H. Hill Chair in Ophthalmology; University of Washington will be delivering a seminar on “Myopia: a major world-wide problem that can be solved” on Wednesday January 16th, 2019 at 12:00pm in the Moran Eye Center auditorium. She will also deliver a Grand Rounds Presentation at 8:00am, also in the the Moran Eye Center auditorium.
Abstract: Nearsightedness (myopia) is an emergent global health problem of staggering proportion, which has driven the hunt for genetic risk factors, with the ultimate goal of gaining insight into the underlying mechanism, and providing new avenues of intervention. The fundamental defect—a slightly elongated eyeball—causes blurry distance vision that is correctable with lenses or surgery, but the risk of blindness from a too-long-eyeball remain. These include increased risk of cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment and retinal degeneration. Recently, haplotypes of the long and middle wavelength cone photopigment genes that cause a strong splicing defect have been associated with high myopia. In the clinical talk, I will discuss our work to develop and test eyeglasses designed to reduce contrast on the retina as a means of slowing eye growth in myopic children. In the basic science talk I will discuss work to investigate the association between haplotypes of the long wavelength photopigment gene and juvenile onset myopia. In total, the work I will present provides new insight into the cause and prevention of myopia.