Opportunities Abound for Proactive Myopia Care

By Dwight Akerman, OD, MBA, FAAO
Chief Medical Editor, Review of Myopia Management

During May 2019, Jobson Optical Research, sponsored by Essilor, polled more than 300 optometrists from the United States to learn more about their attitudes and behaviors regarding myopia management. The results are both encouraging and disappointing. While 62.5 percent of optometrists surveyed said their practices provide myopia management services, 37.5 percent said their practices do not offer myopia care for children.

Of the optometrists surveyed who do not offer myopia care, two out of three said there is not enough patient demand even though for U.S. children and teenagers ages 12 to 17, the overall prevalence of myopia is estimated to be a shocking 34 percent1. Click here to see the full research report.

Optometrists play a critical role in managing myopia. I believe the insights gained from this research will be valuable whether you are currently offering myopia care in your practice or contemplating jumping in. With several myopia treatment options now available off-label that have demonstrated efficacy, optometrists have a professional responsibility to discuss myopia management options with parents of children at risk for progressive myopia.

In our July edition, we feature an essay from Cathleen Fedtke, Dipl. Ing. (FH), PhD, FAAO, a senior research fellow with the Brien Holden Vision Institute. She writes about the research behind spectacle lenses in treating myopia and the more recent lens-based approaches. Clarke D. Newman, OD, FAAO, FBCLA, FSLS, FNAP, explains the legal framework behind the “Doctrine of Informed Consent” and ways to help patients understand how it guides the care that ECPs provide.

And, Andrew Pucker, OD, PhD, FAAO, FSLS, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry writes about the efficacy of soft CL-based myopia management. Dr. Pucker also describes for clinicians the basics of prescribing this potentially beneficial treatment.

As always, I welcome your suggestions and comments.

Best professional regards,

 

 

Dwight H. Akerman, OD, MBA, FAAO, FBCLA
Chief Medical Editor
dwight.akerman@gmail.com

1 Vitale, S., Sperduto, R. D., & Ferris, F. L. (2009). Increased prevalence of myopia in the United States between 1971-1972 and 1999-2004. Archives of Ophthalmology127(12), 1632-1639.

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