January 25, 2022
The CAO recognizes that myopia is a global public health issue and cannot be considered merely an inconvenience of uncorrected vision. The organization said in a statement that it supports the WCO resolution and endorses evidence-based myopia management as a standard of care for all at-risk patients.
The WCO defined the evidence-based standard of care as having three main components:
- Mitigation — optometrists educating and counseling parents and children, during early and regular eye exams, on lifestyle, dietary, and other factors to prevent or delay the onset of myopia
- Measurement — optometrists evaluating the status of a patient during regular comprehensive vision and eye health exams, such as measuring refractive error and axial length whenever possible
- Management — optometrists addressing patients’ needs of today by correcting myopia, while also providing evidence-based interventions (e.g., contact lenses, spectacles, pharmaceuticals) that slow the progression of myopia, for improved quality of life and better eye health today and into the future
“Since the World Health Organization’s release of the World Report on Vision in 2019, CAO’s Council has been concerned about the increasing prevalence of myopia globally,” said CAO President Dr. Harry Bohnsack. “The World Council of Optometry’s standard of care for myopia management provided CAO with a foundation upon which to build our position to ensure that all those who are at risk of myopia receive the best preventive and curative eye health and vision care from Canadian optometrists. We are appreciative of Dr. Debbie Jones, clinical professor at the University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science, for her visionary leadership in conceptualizing and drafting this position statement.”
“The Canadian Association of Optometrists statement of support reinforces the importance of addressing the shift in how we, as optometrists, address and treat the myopia epidemic,” said WCO President-elect Dr. Sandra Block. “The World Council of Optometry is grateful for CAO’s leadership in bringing this message to Canada and hope similar organizations around the world follow. We are so excited to see that our standard of care resolution is reaching so many and look forward to continuing to address the vision and eye health needs of the world together.”