Using big data to understand interest in myopia

Manbir Nagra, James S Wolffsohn, Neema Ghorbani-Mojarrad*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


SIGNIFICANCE: Popularity of publicly searched myopia terminologies is reported, for example, myopia control over myopia management and myopia over nearsighted or shortsighted. Insights are also provided for searches on specific myopia control interventions. The findings offer an evidence-based starting point for public messaging and communications by clinicians, policymakers, and other industry leaders.

PURPOSE: Public understanding of myopia can be difficult to ascertain for clinicians. Although small-scale studies provide valuable snapshots of data, findings tend to be population-specific and thus difficult to extrapolate to global audiences. In this study, big data were used to provide a more comprehensive depiction of global market interest in myopia.

METHODS: Google Trends data were used to analyze searches relating to myopia between January 2004 and August 2023. Data extracted were related to use of the terms myopia control and myopia management, with further searches executed for common myopia control interventions: orthokeratology, contact lenses, atropine, and glasses. Analysis into the search interest of other refractive error states, hyperopia and astigmatism, was also undertaken along with alternative terms that may be used to describe myopia. Where relevant, search trends were considered worldwide, by country, and over time.

RESULTS: Myopia was a more popular search term than common layman alternatives such as nearsighted or shortsighted. Myopia control was found to be more popular than myopia management, and of the specific myopia interventions, atropine was most popular. Compared with astigmatism and hyperopia, relative search volumes were greatest for myopia, on average accounting for approximately 50% of the relative search volume at the country level.

CONCLUSIONS: The differences identified in both popularity of myopia-related search terms and specific interventions may provide the basis for improvements in public messaging and facilitate patient-practitioner communication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-43
Number of pages7
JournalOptometry and vision science : official publication of the American Academy of Optometry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright © American Academy of Optometry. This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Optometry and Vision Science. The published version of record, 'Nagra, Manbir ; Wolffsohn, James S.; Ghorbani-Mojarrad, Neema (2024) Using big data to understand interest in myopia. Optometry and Vision Science 101(1):p 37-43,' is available online at:


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