May 16, 2022
By Steven Sheiner, OD
As a high myope myself, I wish these therapies had been available when I grew up. Now, as a practitioner, I love being able to help kids see better and control the progression of their myopia.
I have been doing adult orthokeratology with corneal refractive therapy (CRT) for many years, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I embraced the many different options for managing myopia.
My experience in the eye care field began when I graduated from Nova Southeastern University’s College of Optometry in 1997. This is my 25th year in practice, and I’m currently a solo practitioner in private practice in Boca Raton, Florida.
Adopting Myopia Management Treatments
When we decided to tackle myopia management head on in my office, we began by adding the required equipment to take the necessary measurements for managing and monitoring myopia. We incorporated a Medmont topographer and Haag-Streit Lenstar Myopia optical biometer. When examining a myopic child, we utilize an autorefractor/keratometer, a topographer, and a biometer to gather baseline numbers and monitor progress over time.
Additionally, when we first started, we devoted several pages of our website to parental education on the importance of routine eye exams, how we can slow progressive myopia in kids, and the eye health dangers associated with myopia. We adopted a similar strategy in the office by making educational posters and brochures about myopia management accessible for parents to review.
While I had been offering CRT to patients for many years, it was challenging to comfortably fit a rigid lens in a small child’s eye. We’ve since added multifocal soft contact lenses (CooperVision’s MiSight 1 day contact lenses), OrthoK lenses specifically designed for each patient’s eyes, and low-dose atropine drops. Each treatment plan is determined on a case-by-case basis after the initial measurements have been taken. We discuss recommendations with the patient and their parents, and together we come up with a treatment plan that is best suited to their needs and lifestyle. Currently, given the availability of customizable lenses, I haven’t found much need for combination treatments. However, I can envision this as a possibility for a younger patient with a higher prescription or axial length and the desire to curb progression as much as possible.
Educating Parents about Myopia Management
When it comes to myopia management, educating parents about the available treatments and the risks associated with untreated myopia is of the utmost importance. This is especially true when considering one of the biggest roadblocks I’ve experienced since offering patients myopia management, which is resistance. People tend to resist anything new, particularly things they don’t fully understand. However, as more practitioners spread the word about myopia management, I’m confident that more parents will embrace it as an effective means of bettering their children’s long-term eye health.
One of the best things I’ve done for my practice in terms of parental education is partner with Hoot Myopia Care. I was looking for a way to educate my patients and their parents in a simple, easy-to-use format. Bob and Shefali Miglani, OD, are exceptional leaders in the industry and excellent ambassadors for myopia management. Hoot has made it so much easier to educate patients and their parents and help them make better informed decisions. This automated system does the marketing and educating for me, which allows me to spend more time helping my patients.
Another way I’ve been able to connect with parents is by utilizing social media. These online platforms are vital in reaching out to parents and connecting with potential new patients. People spend so much time on their phones and other devices that it’s essential to stay on their minds and in their feeds. By occasionally reminding them of what is available to them and their children, they are more likely to take action.
As a high myope myself, I wish these therapies had been available when I grew up. Now, as a practitioner, I love being able to help kids see better and control the progression of their myopia. Looking to the future, I hope that more and more eye care providers embrace myopia management to help their young patients avoid problems with their vision and improve the health of their eyes in the future.
|Dr. Steven Sheiner is a board certified optometric physician and has been practicing in Boca Raton since 1998. He received his Doctorate in Optometry with honors from Nova Southeastern University in 1997. Dr. Sheiner also completed an internship at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami. He specializes in comprehensive eye care, including vision correction, diagnosis and treatment of ocular disease, and surgical co-management. He is a skilled contact lens practitioner specializing in hard to fit contact lenses, including contacts for astigmatism, as well as multi-focal contact lenses. Dr. Sheiner is one of only a handful of doctors locally certified and experienced in myopia management.