(PRESS RELEASE) ST. LOUIS — The World Council of Optometry (WCO) and industry leading partner, CooperVision, shared their vision for how best to treat myopia and thoughts on the clinical approach to myopia management at the 2022 International Myopia Conference in Rotterdam. Building on its global resolution to advance myopia management as the standard of care, WCO and CooperVision presented a poster on the changing approach to the disease at the conference.
In the past decades, the increasing prevalence of myopia has been seen as a growing public health epidemic.(1) Significantly expanded research on myopia as a disease entity shows that it can lead to vision threatening conditions(2)and clinically useful, evidence-based interventions to help delay the onset of, and slow the progression of myopia are becoming increasingly available.(3-5)
“For these reasons, WCO is working to increase awareness of the importance of proactively treating myopia to help slow its natural course,” said Dr. Sandra Block, OD, president-elect, World Council of Optometry. “With industry leader CooperVision, we are shifting the profession away from the concept of simply correcting refractive error to understanding the elements of our recommended Standard of Care for Myopia Management by Optometrists (2021)(6).” Dr. Block coauthored the poster with Elizabeth Lumb MCOptom, FBCLA, CooperVision Director of Global Professional Affairs, Myopia Management, Professor Peter Hendicott, MAppSc, PhD, president, World Council of Optometry, and Dr. Susan Cooper, OD, FAAO, Managing Director, World Council of Optometry.
The resolution defines the evidence-based standard of care as comprising of three main components:
- Mitigation — optometrists educating and counseling patients, parents and children, during early and regular eye exams, on lifestyle, dietary, and other factors to prevent or delay the onset of myopia.
- Measurement — optometrists evaluating the status of a patient during regular comprehensive vision and eye health exams, such as measuring refractive error and axial length whenever possible.
- Management — optometrists addressing patients’ needs of today by correcting myopia, while also providing evidence-based interventions (e.g., contact lenses, spectacles, pharmaceuticals) that slow the progression of myopia, for improved quality of life and better eye health today and into the future.
It also advises optometrists to incorporate within their practice the standard of care for myopia management, which shifts from simply correcting vision to managing the condition, and also includes public education and early, frequent discussions with parents that explain:
- What myopia is.
- Lifestyle factors that may impact myopia.
- The increased risks to long-term ocular health that myopia brings.
- The available approaches that can be used to manage myopia and slow its progression.
The partnership between WCO and CooperVision provides evidence-based science that eye care professionals need to best serve their myopic patients through virtual presentations, published articles, and a website with multi-lingual myopia management resources that may have not previously been widely accessible or actively addressed in certain sectors or countries. The goal is for optometrists across the globe to embrace myopia management as the Standard of Care and to make it an integral part of their practices.
For more information, visit here.
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