Myopia News Briefs

WCO Releases Guide to Managing Children with Myopia

January 13, 2022

Dr. Vera-Diaz works closely with her young myopia patients.

ST. LOUIS — As the World Council of Optometry (WCO) continues to guide eye care professionals through their work with myopic patients, the organization has partnered with CooperVision to release a guide designed to manage patients with myopia. The new insights were created to supplement the WCO’s Standard of Care Resolution for myopia management, which embraces evidence-based approaches focused on the three pillars of mitigation, measurement, and management.

The resource, entitled “A Practical Guide to Managing Children with Myopia,” was created by global leaders in the field of myopia management, who worked together to share their insights on what the WCO Standard of Care entails and how eye care professionals can incorporate it in their fight against the worldwide myopia epidemic. The authors include:

  • Carmen Abesamis-Dichoso, OD, MAT, FIACLE, FPCO, FAAO: Dr. Abesamis-Dichoso operates her private practice, Abesamis Eye Care, in the Philippines, and serves as an Asia Pacific Council of Optometry representative for the WCO.
  • Rufina Chan, MOptom, PhD: Dr. Chan is a visiting lecturer at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Optometry and is in private practice.
  • Kate Gifford, BAS Hons Optometry, PhD: Dr. Gifford works in clinical practice in Australia  and is one of the co-founders of MyopiaProfile.
  • Fuensanta Vera-Diaz, OD, PhD, FAAO: Dr. Vera-Diaz practices in Boston, serves as a reviewer for multiple journals, and leads the New England College of Optometry’s Myopia Control Clinic.

 

Carmen Abesamis-Dichoso

“We all have to become myopia doctors eventually,” Dr. Abesamis-Dichoso said. “This is what optometry is all about. We care about patients and their families because of where they may be five or ten years down the line without myopia management. Correction alone is now not a very good route to take. Control is the answer. Eye care professionals, wherever they are, should be proactive and take the plunge into myopia management because at the end of the day, it is the patient and the community that we serve.”

Rufina Chan

“Myopia is a growing epidemic that may affect up to 50 percent of the world’s population in the next few decades. One-fifth of those impacted may develop sight threatening complications associated with high myopia,” said Dr. Chan. “As optometrists, we are responsible to incorporate evidence-based myopia management in our practice for the benefit of our clients.”

Kate Gifford

“My advice to eye care professionals through this article is just do something, or just do one more thing. We all come from different starting points. Instead of just talking about myopia correction, start talking about myopia management and control,” Dr. Gifford said. “Take the next steps in getting involved with the cutting edge of research and science. Discuss myopia, discuss visual environment, and determine the best optical correction that will control myopia progression.”

Fuensanta Vera-Diaz

“I strongly recommend that eye care professionals start myopia management today. Do not wait any longer. Start today. The WCO article is a great starting point,” said Dr. Vera-Diaz. “You should start educating your patients and their parents about lifestyle considerations, spending more time outdoors, having frequent breaks during near work, and keeping the materials further away. You should also educate them on the myopia management options available. If you have the resources and skills to implement myopia management options, go ahead. If you cannot offer these options yet, you should still educate your patients about the options for myopia management and refer them to someone who can help manage their myopia. You would be doing a disservice to them if you did not educate every child with myopia on the available options.”

 

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