September 25, 2023
PARSIPPANY, N.J. — On Sunday, September 24, leaders in the eye care field gathered here for the third live THE Myopia Meeting of 2023. Many attendees came from neighboring cities and states, while others traveled from Indonesia, Toronto, and Los Angeles for the latest installment of THE Myopia Meeting. The event featured four hours of COPE-approved continuing education courses interspersed with clinical reviews from some of the most influential companies and practitioners in the myopia management space.
‘Every Millimeter Matters’
After a brief introduction from Review of Myopia Management’s Chief Medical Editor Dwight Akerman, OD, MBA, FAAO, FBCLA, FIACLE, the meeting kicked off with the first of two presentations from Kevin Chan, OD, MS, FAAO, IACMM. In the first session, entitled “Axial Length: You Don’t Know What You’re Missing,” Dr. Chan dove deep into all things axial length and why this measurement is so critical when monitoring myopia patients.
Dr. Chan explained that measuring refractive error alone doesn’t give practitioners the full picture of how the eye is growing or what the patient’s long-term eye health risks could be. He encouraged attendees to give their patients the best of both worlds — measuring refraction and axial length — to ensure proper treatment and management of progression. He also shared that he keeps a copy of an axial length percentile chart handy in his exam room, so when he’s seeing patients, he can easily refer to it and share the information with his patients and their parents.
To express the importance of measuring axial length in myopic patients, Dr. Chan put his own spin on a popular myopia management phrase: “Every millimeter matters.” Much in the same way practitioners have gotten used to hearing “every diopter counts,” he wants practitioners to be part of this paradigm shift in myopia management and focus more on axial length. In doing so, ECPs can make proactive diagnoses and make decisions that are best for their patients.
Dr. Chan also shared case studies from patients who have utilized different myopia management treatments, including low-dose atropine and multifocal contact lenses, as well as patients who would be classified as pre-myopes. In each of the cases, the takeaway was the same: consistently measuring patients’ axial length leads to the best decision-making and the greatest success in managing patients’ myopia.
Strategies for Making Myopia Management Your Practice Builder
In his second lecture of the day, Dr. Chan switched gears from the clinical side of his work to give attendees insights into the practice management side of things. He started the session by describing his “why” for specializing in myopia management, and he shared his top five reasons for remaining active in the discipline, while encouraging audience members to consider what myopia management means to them and their practices.
To help practitioners get the most out of myopia management from a personal and financial standpoint, Dr. Chan debunked many of the myths surrounding myopia management. In doing so, he was able to give attendees tangible ways to move forward and see positive changes in their practices. Some of the most common myopia management myths include:
- “There’s no demand for myopia management in my practice.”
- “It’s not profitable to do myopia management.”
- “Myopia management is too time consuming — my book is full.”
When it comes to demand, Dr. Chan explained that building from within can be a great way to get started. Practitioners can use their own patients as a source for myopia management, and he recommended scheduling one or two consultations per week as a starting point. Dr. Chan also shared different strategies for steering the conversation during those consultations, including what he dubbed his “Wizard of Words,” with the acronym CPAP — Concerned (not “You may think about it”), Prescribe (not “recommend”), Assert (not “consider), and Proactive (not “wait-and-see”).
In terms of profitability, Dr. Chan discussed the different ways that practitioners can bill for myopia management services — a global fee or an a-la-carte fee structure — and his experience with setting up payment systems.
Lastly, Dr. Chan explained how prioritizing the workflow in your office can help free up time to start scheduling myopia management patients. He shared that he has dedicated staff members who answer all questions related to myopia management, and allotting specific time slots to myopia management consultations can help keep things clear and organized.
Boosting Patient Acceptance with Communication
Steve Vargo, OD, MBA, was the third speaker of the day, and he focused his discussion on the ways that practitioners can get patients and their parents on board with myopia management by refining their communication skills.
Dr. Vargo explained that building connections with patients is one of the best ways to get buy-in, and when patients feel connected, they’re going to trust you and your recommendations. He shared that curiosity is one of the most important things practitioners should consider when discussing myopia management with patients and their parents, as it’s likely to drive decision-making. Dr. Vargo explained that asking questions is an effective way to do this, as it helps patients feel like they’re being heard, that their doctor cares about them, and they’re on the same team in finding a solution.
He also discussed the ways that storytelling and simplicity are two important things to remember when trying to get patients on board with myopia management. Dr. Vargo said that we’re all more likely to remember stories as opposed to a barrage of facts, and pivoting from science-heavy jargon to sharing stories with patients — that have simple messages and utilize everyday language — can be a game changer in the exam room.
‘Myopia Management From A to Z’
Dr. Akerman gave the last presentation of the day, breaking down everything practitioners need to know about myopia management, including: global prevalence, long-term eye health complications, risk factors for developing myopia and high myopia, treatment options, centile charts, ending myopia treatment, and the benefits of early intervention.
Dr. Akerman shared the latest research on all of the available myopia treatment options, and encouraged attendees to choose the modality that best suits their patients’ individual needs. He also highlighted some new studies that have explored the effect of blue light and red light therapy on myopia progression and the ways that eye care companies are innovating to help the growing number of myopic children.
At the end of the session, Dr. Akerman encouraged attendees to be proactive about myopia management, as doing so can not only benefit children’s long-term eye health, but also improve their quality of life in the present and the future.
Luis Rojas, OD, presented on behalf of Johnson & Johnson Vision, and his discussion was centered around three main ideas: the ACUVUE Abiliti Overnight Lenses, the FitAbiliti Software, and tips for success. Dr. Rojas began by describing the design and available lens parameters of the ACUVUE Abiliti Overnight Lenses, and the ways that practitioners can customize the lenses to fit each patient’s unique cornea shape. Building on that, he discussed the ways that the FitAbiliti Software can make it easier for practitioners to design the ACUVUE Abiliti Overnight Lenses, regardless of whether practitioners are experienced or just starting out with orthokeratology. Dr. Rojas explained how the FitAbiliti can also guide practitioners through the entire ACUVUE Abiliti Overnight process, including patient monitoring, efficacy checks, and progress assessments. Wrapping up, Dr. Rojas shared his top three tips for practitioners to be successful with the Abiliti Overnight Lenses: select good OrthoK candidates, accurately measure HVID, and capture quality topography scans.
Dr. Rojas (left) and Dr. Kwan (right) presented on behalf of Johnson & Johnson Vision and CooperVision, respectively.
Justin Kwan, OD, FAAO, presented for CooperVision, and he shared the ways that the company is working towards its mission of empowering ECPs to combat childhood myopia. He explained how CooperVision has partnered with global and national leaders in the eye care industry to further the idea that myopia management should be the standard of care. Dr. Kwan also discussed how CooperVision has developed treatments specifically targeting myopia management, including MiSight 1 day contact lenses and Paragon CRT OrthoK lenses, as well as its partnership with SightGlass Vision to develop spectacle lenses. To end his discussion, Dr. Kwan shared the ways that CooperVision has been driving consumer awareness of myopia and myopia management, highlighting its most recent campaign “Make Children’s Sight Your Fight,” as well as boosting online and YouTube advertising.
THE Myopia Meeting Conference Speakers and Sponsors Share Event Highlights
To get more insight into the field of myopia management from the leading experts in the field, Review of Myopia Management went straight to the source. Listen to the short interview clips below with speakers and sponsors of THE Myopia Meeting to learn more about the latest myopia management topics.
Steve Vargo, OD, MBA
Kevin Chan, OD, MS, FAAO, IACMM
Shefali Miglani, OD
Moshe Roth, OD, FCOVD
Justin Kwan, OD, FAAO
Arthur Jung, OD
Mike Tilleli, National Sales Manager, VTI
Vittorio Mena, OD, MS
Luis Rojas, OD
Richard Hareychuk, OD
Chandrashekar Chawan, OD, MS, PhD
Novia Rahayu, MD