The Family Study of Myopia
The Family Study of Myopia is a research project investigating the genetic factors that lead to the development of high myopia (also known as short-sightedness). All families that contain at least one highly myopic person are eligible to take part in the study.
Aims of Project
Myopia is often inherited from one generation to the next. However, the genes involved have yet to be traced. The aim of our research towards finding a cure for high myopia is to identify these important genes. Ultimately, we hope to develop a preventative treatment that will successfully arrest the progression of myopia in future generations.
We are seeking the participation of about 200 families in total. Optometrists/Opticians are playing a vital role in helping us identify families.
What would it involve if I take part?
Firstly, we would ask you to fill in a short questionnaire, which asks for information about your eyesight and your general health. The questionnaire also asks you to indicate other members of your family who you would be happy for us to invite to take part in the study. The more members of your family willing to take part in the study the better. The participation of your relatives is equally useful, whether or not they are short sighted themselves.
Secondly, to enable us to trace myopia genes in your family, we would ask you to provide two mouthwash samples. These mouthwashes are easily done by swishing some saline around in your mouth for 20 seconds. The equipment and instructions will be posted to you if you agree to take part (including a prepaid reply envelope for you to post the mouthwash samples back to us). We can assure you that these samples will only be used for studying myopia genes, and that all samples will be coded in order to protect your anonymity.
Finally, we would ask for your permission to contact your Optometrist/Optician for details of your spectacle or contact lens prescription and your ocular health.
Will my confidentiality be maintained?
We take great care to ensure that the confidentiality of participating families is maintained. All personal details are kept securely, and we guarantee that the findings from this research will not identify individuals.
How do I participate?
If you would like to take part, please contact us for an Information Pack.