March 22, 2021
SAN FRANCISCO – Two leaders in the eye care industry are continuing their efforts to spread awareness about the severity of myopia around the world. CooperVision has financially committed to supporting the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s (AAO) initiatives to address the global myopia epidemic over the next five years.
The Academy-guided endeavor seeks to raise awareness of the increasing number of children at risk of developing high myopia and the effectiveness of new interventions to slow this common eye condition, so the worst consequences may be avoided.
Richard L. Abbott, MD, and Donald Tan, MD, led the Academy’s Myopia Task Force alongside recognized experts in myopia prevention and treatment, public health experts, and representatives from the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Optometry, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. The resulting action plan is focused on education, research, public health, and advocacy. Its components are designed to reach the health care community, policy makers, and the public about the challenges created by myopia progression, the value of outdoor time, and early diagnosis.
“Children need us to act now—there’s no time to waste,” Dr. Abbott said. “Those who progress to become high myopes have a 50 percent greater risk of glaucoma, are 17 percent more likely to need cataract surgery, and have a six times greater risk of retinal detachment and retinal tears. CooperVision’s support will assist our work with public health officials, pediatricians, researchers, and others to reduce myopia’s incidence rate, promote evidence-based interventions, and slow progression. We are enthusiastic about their cooperation and deep dedication to the issue.”
In addition to sponsoring the American Academy of Ophthalmology initiative, CooperVision supports other myopia-focused collaborative efforts around the world, including programs from the Global Myopia Awareness Coalition, the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, and the World Council of Optometry.
“For more than a decade, CooperVision has been at the forefront of taking on myopia progression. We know that no single organization, treatment, or category of health care professionals can effectively address its impact on children worldwide. Collaboration is the answer,” said Rajeev Garg, PhD, Global Head Myopia Management Strategy for CooperVision. “By partnering with the American Academy of Ophthalmology on this new initiative, we’ll be able to reach a broader spectrum of clinicians, officials, and parents who play an essential role in improving the vision, long-term ocular health, and overall lives of children.”