March 14, 2019
By Mark De Leon, Associate Editor
Review of Optometry, January 2019
Myopia may be pervasive, but so are efforts to spread awareness and inform ways to reduce progression. Resources abound.
Essilor has taken big steps in furthering the conversation about myopia on a global scale, with a longstanding commitment to education and intervention, including assistance in launching the first National Myopia Management Convention in Singapore last June.1 Stateside, Essilor spread myopia awareness last fall with a movie trailer that screened in select theaters nationwide, to inspire parents to be vigilant for warning signs in their children and schedule a comprehensive eye exam.2 Clinicians can also download a variety of educational tools at essilorshare.com/myopia.
Early this month, the company announced the formation of a Myopia Taskforce comprised of 14 experts “who have pledged their commitment to establishing a preferred method for comprehensive myopia care, including developing a universally accepted care protocol for managing myopia,” according to Vision Monday.3 It’s part of Essilor’s Myopia Initiative in Action, which will be rolling out this year.
In November, Johnson & Johnson Vision teamed up with experts, also in Singapore, on a research collaboration to tackle myopia.4 The aim is to create tools to identify those at risk to develop high myopia, learn about the underlying mechanisms of myopia and work toward developing better treatments.
The Brien Holden Vision Institute (BHVI) recently launched its online Global Myopia Centre, which includes numerous free online tools, such as BHVI’s Myopia Calculator, Guidelines for Myopia Management and online courses that provide accredited training for practitioners in myopia interventions.5 You can access them here: www.globalmyopiacentre.org.
At the 2018 Academy of Optometry meeting, the International Myopia Institute presented seven white papers on areas such as myopia definitions, evidence for interventions, ethical considerations, clinical trial guidelines and clinical management guidelines.6 The reports will be available at the beginning of this year in Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science.
Kate Gifford, PhD, chair of the institute’s clinical management committee, has been managing myopia for over 15 years. With her husband, Paul Gifford, PhD, she developed various patient communication resources, including the Myopia Profile tool, available at MyopiaProfile.com. Dr. Gifford uses the profile tool whenever she examines a child who is already myopic or shows risk of developing the condition. The duo has also developed My Kid’s Vision (www.mykidsvision.org) as another information resource to help parents understand myopia and the steps they can take toward prevention and the slowing of progression.
Visioneering Technologies, which makes the NaturalVue contact lens for myopia control, supported the development of www.managemyopia.org, a website for practitioners looking to better address the needs of myopic patients, which includes screening tools and other resources.
CooperVision offers the MiSight contact lens for myopia control outside the US and is studying it in ongoing trials. The company provides an educational summary for the public with advice on how parents can keep myopia at bay (coopervision.com/blog/three-ways-to-slow-down-myopia) and advice for clinicians as well (coopervision.com/practitioner/clinical-resources/myopia-control-in-youth).
Industry has also been raising awareness of the link between digital screen use and myopia, as well as dry eye. In June, Shire launched Screen Responsibly (www.myeyelove.com/screen-responsibly), a consumer-friendly resource to ensure a healthy screen routine.
It doesn’t always take an entire industry to generate discourse among an engaged community of optometrists. It just takes commitment and conversation. Each OD can make meaningful differences in patients’ lives with a little more attention and emphasis for those at risk.
- Leading the fight against myopia, starting in Singapore [news release]. Essilor; June 22, 2018. www.essilor.com/en/medias/news/leading-fight-myopia-starting-singapore/. Accessed December 19, 2018.
- As myopia rates rise in the U.S., Essilor of America launches initiative to help combat growing vision issue [press release]. Dallas: PR Newswire; September 20, 2018. www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/as-myopia-rates-rise-in-the-us-essilor-of-america-launches-initiative-to-help-combat-growing-vision-issue-300716218.html. Accessed December 19, 2018.
- Essilor of America Forms Taskforce to Combat Growing Myopia Epidemic in U.S. www.visionmonday.com/latest-news/article/essilor-of-america-forms-taskforce-to-combat-growing-myopia-epidemic-in-us
- Singapore National Eye Centre, Singapore Eye Research Institute and Johnson & Johnson Vision set sights on halting global Myopia epidemic [press release]. Singapore: Johnson & Johnson Vision; November 12, 2018. www.jjvision.com/press-release/singapore-national-eye-centre-singapore-eye-research-institute-and-johnson-johnson. Accessed December 19, 2018.
- Brien Holden ‘Global Myopia Centre’ a new ‘one-stop’ resource platform [news release]. San Antonio, TX: Brien Holden Vision Institute; November 7, 2018. www.brienholdenvision.org/news/item/176-brien-holden-global-myopia-centre-a-new-one-stop-resource-platform.html. Accessed December 19, 2018.
- Carter H. Clinical guidelines for myopia in white paper. Optometry Australia. November 23, 2018. www.optometry.org.au/blog-news/2018/11/23/clinical-guidelines-for-myopia-in-white-paper/. Accessed December 19, 2018.
Dr. Gifford’s Myopia Profile tool helps practitioners explain to the child and their parents the outcomes of the exam more effectively.