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China Hosts International Congress of Ophthalmology and Optometry

May 2, 2024

Together at the EssilorLuxottica booth at COOC were, L-R: AOMA’s Fan Chi Shing, Myopia Researcher Thomas Aller, CooperVision’s Paul Chamberlain, and EssilorLuxottica’s Olga Prenat.

SHANGHAI, China – The International Congress of Ophthalmology and Optometry China (COOC) was held here April 11-13, 2024. With a focus on technology in the exhibit hall and research during the presentations, myopia management took center stage in Shanghai just as it is in conferences and exhibitions throughout the world.

The primary treatment for slowing the progression of myopia in China is orthokeratology, so many companies, both international and domestic, were on display throughout the exhibit hall sharing their OrthoK technology, including CooperVision, Euclid, and Johnson & Johnson along with a number of domestic manufacturers. 

More recently over the past few years, spectacle lenses for slowing the progression of myopia have also become available in China. Exhibitors at COOC offering myopia control spectacle lenses included Zeiss, EssilorLuxottica, Hoya, and Nikon. While these companies offer myopia control spectacle lenses with efficacy supported by evidence-based clinical trials, there are about 200 lenses promoted for slowing the progression of myopia in China, many of which are simply “inspired by” these and do not have their own evidence-based clinical trials to support their efficacy. “Myopia management is emerging, but there’s no proper legislation, and its complicated by the 200 different brands of myopia control spectacle lenses,” said Tan Kah Ooi, President of the Asia Optometric Management Academy (AOMA). “So, practitioners are having difficulty understanding which one to prescribe.”

Prof. Maria Liu of UC Berkeley School of Optometry presented both virtually and in person at COOC in Shanghai.

CooperVision also promoted its MiSight soft contact lenses for myopia control during COOC, both at its trade show booth as well as with a series of presentations by leading global key opinion leaders in myopia management. MiSight soft contact lenses are beginning to establish a foothold in China but still represent a small percentage of the market. (Click images below to enlarge.)

The primary institutions for providing myopia management in China are hospitals, both public and private, which offer both orthokeratology and spectacle lenses as well as multifocal soft contact lenses and atropine to an even lesser degree. Atropine was only recently approved for myopia control in China. OrthoK remains far and away the leading choice among both practitioners and parents due to its familiarity as it has been available far longer than spectacle lenses or the other options. (Click images below to enlarge.)

Neighborhood optical shops throughout China perform refractions and provide correction in the form of spectacle and contact lenses, but myopia management is not yet available through these privately owned practices. AOMA is working to change that by bringing practitioners from countries where optometrists’ scope of practice has expanded to include myopia management, such as Malaysia and Singapore, to teach Chinese practitioners by example. The recent all-day conference, “Frontier in Vision Science Summit – Myopia Research,” is an example of the efforts AOMA is making to help promote the increased availability of myopia management in China. (Click images below to enlarge.)

“We take the model from Southeast Asia so that they can do it step by step,” said AOMA’s Tan Kah Ooi. “Because over 20/30 years ago in Malaysia, optical practices were exactly the same as what we can see in China now. They only did dispensing and refraction, that’s it, nothing else.” AOMA hopes its efforts will enable Chinese practitioners to expand to include myopia management among the treatments it offers. (Click images below to enlarge.)

Review of Myopia Management caught up with some leading key opinion leaders (KOLs) in Shanghai and asked for their thoughts on the COOC. Below are their quick takes. Look for more in-depth interviews to come in RMM about myopia management in China overall with these and other KOLs.

Professor Maria Liu, UC Berkeley School of Optometry

Dr. Oliver Woo Optometrist, Orthokeratologist  Myopia Management Clinic, UNSW

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