“Myopia is not a benign vision condition… it’s a ticking time bomb for public health worldwide.”
By 2050, half the world’s population will be myopic with up to ONE BILLION people at significantly increased risk of permanent blindness. The skyrocketing Myopia Epidemic particularly targets city-dwelling, better-educated youngsters – threatening them with serious vision loss that goes beyond the need to wear eyeglasses in order to see clearly.
Myopia occurs when the cornea (clear cover on the front of the eye) is steeply curved or when the eyeball grows too much, elongating from front to back. While people have theories about what causes eye elongation, no one really knows what triggers this growth. However, the result is nearsightedness, which means that faraway objects look blurry while things nearby appear perfectly clear and in-focus.
Unfortunately, in addition to blurry vision, myopia is often the gateway to serious blinding diseases. With ONE MILLON new cases occurring each week, Vision Scientists are warning that there is no safe amount of myopia. In a lens prescription each minus (-) diopter doubles the risk of developing ocular disorders. This is because eye elongation puts stress on its inner parts thereby inviting maladies formerly attributed to old age. Nowadays, cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachments, macular myopathy are striking earlier in life, dramatically disabling millions of young people in their teens and twenties.
The origins of the current epidemic can be traced back to just after WWII. Although spikes in myopia have been documented in particular populations over past centuries, what’s new this time is that the span and magnitude of the present-day crisis has sparked a massive world-wide response from researchers, practitioners and industry who have joined together to tackle this still-mysterious phenomenon. Meanwhile, myopia in kids has burgeoned into an out-of-control epidemic – in only the last 30 years – tripling in the USA and compromising the vision of 96% of urban young people in South Korea.
The core of our story is the nexus where Vision Science meets innovation: With cutting-edge advances in lens design and development of safer pharmaceuticals, new methodologies are being applied to scientific discoveries made nearly half-a-century ago. These breakthroughs have opened the door to amazing remedies that – by slowing eye elongation in young children – are helping to stem-the-tide of this global epidemic.
Working closely with a distinguished group of scientists, we interweave their observations with testimonials of individuals living with progressive myopia, giving voice and firsthand witness to the real-life challenges on both sides of the conundrum.
With millions of young people unwittingly marching towards blindness, our objective is to reach as wide a general audience as possible on multiple international media and educational platforms. To do this, we are creating a project with a strong visual and editorial line while building an integrated distribution model with: 1) A creative, feature-length documentary film; 2) a one-hour verson for TV and classroom screenings; 3) five x short episodes designed for internet viewing (2-3 mins); 4) a 6-hour audio book; and, 5) a traveling science-educational museum exhibition (produced & budgeted separately).
A Brewster Pond Production