May 24, 2023
EssilorLuxottica is among the worldwide leaders tackling the myopia epidemic, both with products as well as with education. The company also partners with other companies and international organizations to raise awareness about the growing incidence of myopia and the fact that there are treatments available to slow its progression. With Myopia Awareness Week again being sponsored by BHVI and EssilorLuxottica among those participating in this global initiative, John Sailer, Editor-in-Chief of Review of Myopia Management, interviewed Olga Prenat, MSc Optom, Executive MBA, Global Head of Medical & Professional Affairs and Global Head of Vision Care Education at EssilorLuxottica, about the company’s participation in Myopia Awareness Week and about the status of its Essilor Stellest lens for slowing the progression of myopia in children.
RMM: Overall, why is EssilorLuxottica concerned about the childhood myopia pandemic?
EssilorLuxottica: EssilorLuxottica has been focusing on caring about everyone’s sight to improve their lives, and the overall myopia pandemic is at the heart of our preoccupation, so we have been working on myopia management solutions for more than 30 years. Myopia is expanding very fast now, affecting millions of children. We also know that given the increasing global prevalence of myopia and related ocular health, social, and economic complications, correcting myopia is simply not enough. Myopia prevention, early detection and intervention in children are critical to reducing the impact of myopia on their long-term ocular health as well as addressing the short-term benefits. Moreover, childhood is a critical period where we can act on myopia progression effectively. Our ultimate objective is to see myopia management in children become the standard of vision care.
RMM: What is EssilorLuxottica broadly doing for consumers and practitioners regarding raising myopia awareness?
EssilorLuxottica: For three decades, we have been helping to address myopia by doing three key things – first, at the medical level, advancing myopia research and developing innovative solutions and products; second, strengthening ECP awareness and education and raising public awareness of childhood myopia through partnerships such as participating with the Global Myopia Awareness Coalition (GMAC) as well as government and schools all over the world or reaching out directly to hundreds of millions of consumers through our communication campaigns in various countries; third, increasing access to vision screenings and vision care where the OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation plays a major role from screenings and vision care services to access and charity activities in North America, India, Europe, Africa, Greater China, Southeast Asia, Asia, and Australia.
RMM: Specifically for Myopia Awareness Week, how is EssilorLuxottica participating in this global initiative sponsored by BHVI?
EssilorLuxottica: EssilorLuxottica is supporting Myopia Awareness Week 2023 to help make myopia management a part of essential eye health in children. This year, BHVI is asking eye care practitioners to make myopia management a part of their day-to-day routine for child eye health. We need to continue to work closely with all stakeholders and eye care practitioners, helping them develop myopia management, support their patients throughout their myopia journey, and raise awareness among the public. This is in line with our mission to help people see more and be more, as we strive to help ECPs worldwide deliver comprehensive and quality pediatric vision care to contribute to slowing down the myopia epidemic.
RMM: EssilorLuxottica’s comprehensive education platform, Leonardo, provides a wealth of information on a wide variety of topics, and myopia management is one of them. Please briefly describe Leonardo in general and its new content related to myopia management.
EssilorLuxottica: Leonardo is EssilorLuxottica’s digital learning platform that provides an incredible variety of educational content to its community and the eyewear industry. Launched in 2021, Leonardo offers on-demand, quality learning with varying formats tailored to every learner’s needs (interactive lessons, readings, podcasts, videos). It also enhances its programs through an extensive and sustained calendar of live sessions, giving learners access to the latest scientific and clinical insights. Specifically on the topic of myopia, Leonardo offers multiple resources to help eye care practitioners make myopia management a part of their day-to-day routine.
The article, “PUBLIC HEALTH APPROACH: REVERSING THE MYOPIA TREND,” is based on highlights from the live session that took place on the occasion of World Sight Day last year, presented by panelists from EssilorLuxottica partner organizations (Prof. Serge Resnikoff, International Myopia Institute Chair; Dr. Paul Gifford, Director and Founder, Myopia Profile; and Dr. Millicent Knight, Immediate Past Chair, GMAC, and Sr. VP, Customer Development Group, EssilorLuxottica NA) sharing their insights and conversations around how to address one of the most significant public health issues of our time.
There is also the updated edition of the course “MOVING BEYOND MYOPIA CORRECTION TO CONTROL,” developed by the renowned industry experts, Dr. Mark Bullimore (U.S.) and Dr. Kate Gifford (Australia). The course, which offers a Leonardo certification to those who complete it, delves into myopia and the long-term benefits of managing it proactively. Divided into four stand-alone lectures, the course helps translate evidence-based information into practice so eye care professionals can actively engage and guide patients in their myopia management journey. The course explains why myopia should be considered as a disease and how its progression can be slowed, and it equips learners with the tools necessary to translate research into best-practice clinical care.
Moreover, to expand on what EssilorLuxottica has to offer about myopia management, we are working with our partner Myopia Profile on two series of podcasts by Dr. Kate Gifford made exclusively available on Leonardo. Already available, the first one is “THE 6 Cs TO COMMUNICATE MYOPIA.” In this podcast series, Dr. Gifford speaks about the full journey of myopia management, from myopia correction to control, as well as goals and outcomes. She also helps users learn tried-and-tested messages and explains how to set up your system in six simple steps through six engaging episodes of about 10 to 15 minutes each. The second podcast series will be available soon and will cover the fundamentals of myopia management.
RMM: Beyond Leonardo, what else is EssilorLuxottica doing to provide myopia awareness and education?
EssilorLuxottica: Myopia is a global health problem that must be approached from all angles. Around the world, myopia control will soon become the standard of vision care as more professional associations, governments, and industry players are focusing on myopia and stressing its importance. The release of the report of the Joint World Health Organization–Brien Holden Vision Institute Global Scientific Meeting on Myopia, “Impact of myopia and high myopia” in 2015 was a significant milestone and momentum. Since then, the topic has taken a new trajectory.
There may not have been that many solutions for myopia management available 20 years ago that were efficient, simple, and safe for children. However, the situation has evolved since then and continues as new innovations are being rolled out and new research is being published from clinical trials for children. The paradigm shift in myopia management uptake cannot be achieved alone; that is why we need to work together. This requires the commitment of all global stakeholders involved in health, eye, and vision care.
Our global partnerships with Review of Myopia Management, the International Myopia Institute, GMAC, Myopia Profile, and the World Society of Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus are helping to empower and drive the eye care industry forward.
RMM: EssilorLuxottica has an expansive catalog of products, including those for slowing the progression of myopia as well as instruments for diagnosing and monitoring myopia. What specific products does EssilorLuxottica offer, and what is the latest news related to these products both in North America and globally?
EssilorLuxottica: Our extensive offer for kids has been growing year after year for the last decades. We offer enhanced vision correction with Essilor Eyezen Kids, UV protection, polycarbonate, lens material recommended for pediatric eyewear by WSPOS, Transitions, Sun Rx, and also wide range of models of optical frames and sunglasses specifically designed for kids.
In the myopia field we have various products. Two versions of Myopilux: a prismatic bifocal and a PAL.
Our newest technology owned by Sight Glass Vision, our JV in partnership with CooperVision, named DOT (Diffusion Optics Technology) and based on the contrast management theory, has shown very interesting efficacy results and is now available in China as well as in a few other countries in the world.
And of course, Essilor Stellest. With Essilor Stellest lens our most efficient product, available in more than 25 countries (in North America in Canada), we are confident that it is just a matter of time when together we can contribute to shift the dial on myopia management and change millions of children’s lives.
The findings show that Essilor Stellest lenses continue to exhibit strong efficacy in slowing myopia progression and axial eye elongation in children in the fourth year. The clinical trial, which began in 2018, was conducted at the Eye Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University in Wenzhou, China. The key findings from the study include: Essilor Stellest lenses saved more than 1.25D of myopia on average over four years, demonstrating conclusive evidence of their efficacy in slowing myopia progression in children. Essilor Stellest lenses also remain effective in slowing myopia progression and axial eye elongation in older children (11-16 years).
The release of the four-year data follows the recent publication of the three-year clinical trial findings in the medical journal American Journal of Ophthalmology, which also highlights evidence of continued myopia control efficacy of the lens in slowing down myopia progression in children over three years.
Creating a complete vision care system, Essilor Stellest lenses can be complemented by a suite of advanced equipment designed to help eye care professionals build a compelling myopia management journey, from early detection to long-term monitoring. This solution is composed of the Myopia Expert 700 optical biometer, a fast and accurate solution for measuring axial length, with the Essibox Myopia Care providing a patient-friendly interface to explain clinical results in a meaningful way. Eye care professionals can offer patients a personal Myopia Passport that combines individual recommendations involving patients and their families in myopia management. Thus, it allows eye care professionals to benefit from a scalable protocol to effectively and proactively manage myopia. It can help them in the myopia care journey and in the implementation of myopia management in clinical practice.
Since 2018 the Myopia Awareness week has been an annual momentum of communication that brings every year a new call to action by BHVI.
This year let’s take the pledge to make #myopiamanagement a part of the day-to-day routine for child eye health!
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